Marco Asensio turned down an offer to become the “star signing” for Tottenham Hotspur in the transfer window but is already growing frustrated with his back-seat role at Real Madrid, as reported by Marca.
After Martin Odegaard gave up on his Bernabeu dreams in favour of guaranteed first-team football at Arsenal, Asensio must be wondering whether he should have joined his former Los Blancos teammate in north London.
Because just a day after Odegaard scored his first goal since his £30 million move to the Emirates, a stunning free-kick sealing three much-needed Premier League points at Burnley, Asensio had a watching brief as Real Madrid turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead with a late smash-and-grab away win at in-form Valencia.
It has been the story of the Spaniard’s season.
He hasn’t started a single game since Carlo Ancelotti replaced Zinedine Zidane in the summer, playing just 68 minutes of football in La Liga and a grand total of one during the fortuitous Champions League victory over Inter Milan last week.
And, as you might expect, Asensio isn’t thrilled by his role as a bench-warming back-up.
Should Marco Asensio have chosen Tottenham over Real Madrid?
According to Marca, the one-time Espanyol wonder kid turned down offers from AC Milan and Tottenham before September’s transfer deadline in favour of fighting for his place in the Spanish capital.
But with Vinicius Jr in the form of his life, and Eden Hazard, Isco and Gareth Bale finding some semblance of form again, a gloriously gifted footballer – one who appeared to be on his way to super-stardom in 2018 before a series of long-term injuries – is wasting his potential on the sidelines.
“Zidane told me that since Messi, he had never seen a left foot like mine,” Asensio said in 2017.
Unfortunately, while Asensio boasts a left peg to rival arguably the greatest footballer of all time, his injury-stricken body lacks the durability to make the most of his fearsome, once-in-a-generation talent.