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Real Madrid Corner: Isco to United?

 Posted by on March 26, 2014 at 9:44 am  Spain, The Ball is Flat
Mar 262014
Two years ago he was the standout player on a Malaga side that had reached as far as it had ever gone in its short-lived history. Sure, there had been a club in Malaga since the 1940's but this was a club that had risen from its ashes in 1992 playing in the third division. They rose and were successful for a time but in the 2007-2008 season they were seconds away from relegation and the Miracle and the Rosaleda happened. The oil money came in after that like the tides and as the tides are wont to do they receded. In its wake we were introduced to a player like Isco.

Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez, or Isco for short in that curious way that Spaniards have of shortening names, was born in Malaga, but cut his teeth in the Valencia CF youth system, and as a right of passage for practically all products of that academy, he was sold after really, only 4 appearances for Los Che. Fast forward two years and here was one of the bright lights of La Rojita, the Spanish U-21's, who had become a key element in Manuel Pellegrini's Malaga side after the sale of Santi Cazorla to Arsenal, and he was being sold to Real Madrid. At first he balked at the move, I don't think he thought himself ready, but even with the pursuit of Gareth Bale most pundits in Spain thought the more effective player had already been bought.

Since then it has been an up and down year for Isco. He's played in 23 games for the club but most of them as a sub. His minutes have gone down progressively and he's seen his place on the pecking order for minutes in midfield drop. It's his game really. He's a tall, languid midfielder who's best position is sitting in space, linking midfield and attack, but who really doesn't fit in Ancelotti's system anymore. Can he adapt to a deeper position as Modric has done in that Pirlo/Seedorf mold? Possibly, but why would you want to. He is what he is and changing him to a Messi-esque false-9, a creative winger, or a deep-lying playmaker ignores what strengths he has.

Now Manchesters United and City are calling and Real Madrid can easily get more than the 30 million euros they spent for the player in the Summer. Isco says he'll do whatever the club decides but it's clear that he's surplus in Carlo Ancelotti's 4-3-3 and better suited anywhere else.
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