Los Jóvenos Blancos: The New Generation Of Galácticos

With goals on each of his competitive debuts in LaLiga, the Champions League, the Copa Del Rey and both the European and Spanish Super Cups, Marco Asensio has been efficiently prolific in his opportunities at Real Madrid.

So far this campaign, the agile forward already has four goals to his name with two coming against fierce rivals Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup. It’s fair to say that this young talent is sending shock waves across Spain in just his second season with Los Blancos.

Following his€4million transfer from Mallorca in 2016, little was expected at first from the promising Spaniard; a notoriously talented and competitive midfield consisting of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos would mean opportunities would be scarce. But by following in the footsteps of Isco, another Spanish midfielder with his best years ahead of him, both now find themselves battling for their respective places in the starting XI.

After a number of impressive substitute appearances and goals in the 2016/17 season, Isco was shifted by Madrid boss Zidane from the right wing and into an attacking three. Since then he has flourished, operating behind the prolific tandem of Ronaldo and Benzema. This additional space has allowed Isco to roam between positions with the singular purpose of creativity.

Similarly, Asensio’s speed and passing ability also sees him floating from position to position and, whilst usually featuring on the left wing, his ability to cut onto his sweet left-foot and let fly from distance has seen him score a number of fantastical goals.

The pair’s form is not limited to their club side, however, with both showcasing their talent for the same national teams, also. Isco recently put in a stunning performance for Spain in which he grabbed himself a brace and left Italy utterly embarrassed in his wake. Asensio is yet to have a similar impact on the Spanish first team, however, he marked his debut for the Under 21s in typical fashion by scoring an impressive hat-trick against Macedonia.

If Ascensio can grow into even half the player Isco is fast becoming, Madrid will have another world-beater on their hands. Another player capable of single-handedly turning the tide of a game and in doing so, seeing Real to titles on both domestic and European stages.

However, whilst these two starlets are seizing the limelight, other Madrid prospects seek to make a similar ascension. The following talents have made their presence known further down the pecking order, all the while vying for a chance to make their mark at the legendary club:

Borja Mayoral

After plying his trade at German outfit Wolfsburg last season on loan, Mayoral will be on the hunt for his first Real Madrid goal following his rise through the youth academy. Despite scoring only two goals in 19 appearances in the Bundesliga, the pacy striker will be keen to replicate his Real Madrid B form in which he bagged 17 goals in 38 appearances. Armed with a clinical finish and a good work-rate, Mayoral will most likely make appearances in the early stages of domestic cup competitions at best this season.

Philipp Leinhart

Loaned and then purchased from Rapid Wein II in 2015, Leinhart has impressed at Real Madrid C, then B, before making his debut for the first team against Cádiz CF in the same year; in a 3-1 win in the Copa Del Rey. He was included in Real’s Champions League squad last season and was a staple figure in the heart of the defence of the Austrian Under-21 national team before being called up for the senior side in recent World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Georgia.

Jesus Vallejo

Following a season-long loan spell back at his former club Zaragoza, Vallejo ventured to Germany where he made 25 appearances in the defence of Eintracht Frankfurt. Upon his return to Madrid at the beginning of this season, Vallejo was unveiled as a first-team player and assigned the number three shirt formerly of Pepe. The tough-tackling centre-back makes up for his lack of pace with his strong defensive positioning and capability with the ball at his feet. Vallejo is the most likely of all three candidates to make his mark on the first team this season.

The Future

Despite the constant presence of formidable competition in their own squad, Asensio and Isco show little sign of slowing their progress as they continue to boast their immeasurable talent both at a club and international level. If the aforementioned players of Madrid’s youth squads can achieve the same successes, it will have all been for a combined spend of just over forty million euros.

Madrid have been criticised for their heavy spending in the past. But, at a time when the transfer market has truly gone mad, are they actually ahead of the curve? With a stacked youth squad full of prospects that may see them continue to dominate for years to come, its hard to see when anyone else is going to stand a chance.

Madrid’s Galácticos programme looks set to continue, with its new generation soon to reach their apex.