Prior to the start of the 2019/20 season, Zinedine Zidane was dreaming of a tricky forward line of Marco Asensio, Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard. However, that has not been the case at Real Madrid as Asensio was ruled for out for almost all season after picking up an anterior cruciate ligament injury in pre-season.
One out, but definitely the gaffer was going to build a good partnership between Benzema and Hazard. The pair also looked far from forming an awesome duo, though there showed a few glimpses of their combination before the lockdown.
The Belgium international’s lack of fitness had only limited him to 15 appearances before the lights went off on football across Europe, proving to be a hurdle for Zidane to assess the impact of the two playing together.
Benzema on the other hand had been a mess since the turn of the year, scoring just twice in La Liga in as many games he played before the halting of the league. Despite his shyness in front of goal, the Frenchman continues to be in the gaffer’s set up due to the connection he builds with the midfielders on the pitch.
That could soon be over for Madrid, who are still searching for a third partner for the former Chelsea man and Benzema. Gareth Bale, Rodrygo Goes and Lucas Vazquez have all failed to add the needed from the right flank.
The first half against Eibar after the league’s return was the starting of how good and fluid Benzema and Hazard can get with time. They looked for each other almost anytime they had the ball glued to their feet, but there was a missing missing piece from the puzzle at right-wing.
However, the answer to this missing link could be closer than Zidane would have thought in Asensio.
The 23-year-old returned to the pitch for the very first time this season, thanks to the three months hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. His introduction wasn’t the only positive, as he went on to play a major role in putting the game to bed against a determined Valencia side on Thursday.
Asensio scored the team’s second of the night before setting up Benzema for the third in less than 15 minutes on the pitch. It is fair enough to say that Ferland Mendy was the only player aside the No.9, Hazard and the Spaniard to have been involved in a goal last night.
For the few minutes the expected trio stayed on the pitch, you could sense Zidane was finally going to get a stable frontline, which could be interesting to watch.
The manager will finally get the chance to make use of Asensio’s available at a very crucial part of the season. Madrid are pursuing Barcelona who are two points above Los Blancos, as they aim to overtake the Catalan side for the La Liga title, and the return of the youngster could prove to be essential for the Whites from Madrid.
Madrid are up against Real Sociedad in their next league game on Sunday, and just like it happened against Los Che, Asensio, Benzema and Hazard may have another opportunity to provethat they are ready to form a lethal partnership in the league.
Could we be about to witness ‘ABH’ as the new trio at the Santiago Bernabeu? Definitely that is the hope of every Madridista…