Real Madrid are off to a dream start to the new season. They have registered five back-to-back wins in La Liga, which puts them at the top of the league table with 15 points on the board, two ahead of arch-rivals Barcelona.
Two protagonists of their successful start to the season have been Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes. The Brazilian duo has performed spectacularly, helping Real Madrid remain on par with Barça.
Rodrygo and Vinicius have combined for a total of six goals, with the latter being the joint top-goalscorer for the club this season. But here at Madrid Universal, we will dig a little deeper into the overall statistics of these two players and gain a perspective of their contributions in the final third in these early parts of the campaign.
Rodrygo, for one, is leading the league in terms of shot-creating actions per 90 minutes, with an astonishing tally of 8.02. Vinicius is not far behind, having averaged more than five shot-creating actions per 90 so far this season.
Their collective shot-creating actions tally is 13.20 is higher than the collective total of Cadiz and Getafe. Even Real Sociedad’s tally of 13.40 SCA90 is narrowly higher than the two.
Meanwhile, Vinicius is third only to Alex Berenguer and teammate Benzema, in terms of shots attempted in the league so far. Vinicius also averages 1.60 shots on target per 90 while Rodrygo has a higher tally of 1.78. Both of them are in the top ten in the league, in the corresponding metric.
Another metric that portrays the sheer dominance the two have had in the league so far is the dribbling and possession data that suggests Vinicius is the most successful dribbler in the league, with 15 completed dribbles. He has also registered 253 carries, which is the fourth highest in the league.
Rodrygo may not lead the league in this regard, but his tally of 1.78 completed dribbles per game is considerably higher than the league average.
However, apart from scoring goals, creating chances or making life difficult for the opposition, these two have also worked hard defensively for their team. Both of them, after all, average more than 17 pressure per 90, which is considered quite healthy for explosive wingers such as these two.
These statistics are coupled with an excellent conversion rate and a healthy understanding with their teammates, making Vinicius and Rodrygo the beating heart of the Real Madrid attack that has shown a lot of promise in these early parts of the campaign.
Stat courtesy: FBRef
Real Madrid’s 29-year-old star upset with his situation, desires more clarity on role
At Real Madrid, the quest for securing a spot in the first-team lineup involves battling it out with some of the best players in European football.
Competition is generally considered the perfect antidote to complacency and the Merengues‘ immensely talented roster encapsulates that sentiment best.
While injuries have done a number on the team, there is still an abundance of competition in the squad. As of now, the fight for a spot in the starting lineup is most intense among the goalkeepers.
Indeed, since the beginning of the campaign, there has been no fixed goalkeeper with both Andriy Lunin and Kepa Arrizabalaga featuring between the sticks alternately.
However, after being acquired on a season-long loan to fill in the absence of Thibaut Courtois, Kepa is not entirely content with his situation.
Kepa unsatisfied with the unclarity
Indeed, as per The Athletic, Kepa is extremely disappointed with his situation and how the coaching staff at Real Madrid have been handling the matter.
Ancelotti has not clearly explained his reasoning as to which of Lunin and Kepa is currently his first-choice keeper.
And according to sources close to him, Kepa is unhappy and would have preferred further clarification on the matter from the manager.
Lunin in the driving seat
Owing to Lunin’s exceptional form lately, he has successfully displaced Kepa as the first-choice goalkeeper.
In fact, Kepa has not started a game since Real Madrid’s clash against Almeria last month in which they leaked two goals.
It is safe to assume Kepa’s frustrations stem from the fact that he initially arrived as the primary keeper to replace Courtois and turned down an offer from Bayern Munich to join the Madrid outfit.
As such, being shunned and having minimal clarity from the coaching staff’s preferred goalkeeper has led to dissatisfaction.
As things stand, Real Madrid have no plans of signing him permanently, given that Chelsea would ask around €20 million for him, something that the club have intentions of paying.