All through the summer, one subject of concern around the club was the future of Marco Asensio. There was interest from many clubs, and Real Madrid was open to letting him leave the club for the right price. AC Milan showed much interest in Marco Asensio but was unwilling to pay him as much as 40 million euros.
So Marco Asensio is still at the club. At this point, he is slowly rebuilding his reputation amongst Madridistas, contributing three goals and two assists in fourteen appearances this season. These recent performances have sparked contract renewal talks.
The question right now does he deserve a new contract. Is a new contract for Asensio an intelligent move, or is it time for both parties to move on?
The Back story
When Marco Asensio burst into the scene with that stunning “Golazo" in the UEFA super cup and followed that up with a string of outstanding performances, a lot was said about the young Asensio. A large chunk of the fan base was rooting for him, and he was touted to be the long-term replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo.
Asensio was and is still very talented, and the performances he was putting in and the goals he was scoring at the time backed up the rave about him. So when Ronaldo left the club, it was time for Marco Asensio to step up and solidify his place in the team.
But, unfortunately, he didn"t. An unfortunate ACL injury in a pre season game against arsenal in July 2019 did little to help his cause, and by the time he returned (to much fanfare from the fan base), he could not replicate the form that saw him become a fan favourite.
The word “INCONSISTENCY" has identified itself with the Asensio brand. It has been a massive problem since he returned from the ACL injury that kept him out for ten months. Last season was the point where Madridistas became fed up with the Asensio situation.
At the beginning of the season, Ancelotti"s preferred front three would be a rejuvenated Vinicius Jr alongside Benzema and either one of Asensio or Rodrygo. Unfortunately, both Asensio and Rodrygo failed to nail down their place as starters, and the mercurial Fede Valverde surprisingly took the right-wing position.
While Rodrygo was able to contribute to the team as an impact sub and encourage the fan base to give him more time to settle in and become an essential part of the team, Asensio didn"t do enough to keep himself in the good books of the fan base. He"d come in sometimes and score a stunner and fail to impress when rewarded with a start.
He"d show flashes of the player the fans loved and rooted heavily for, but when given the required minutes to deliver, he"d fluff his lines. By the end of last season, many fans and even the club felt it was time for both parties to move on.
This season, Carlo Ancelotti has given fringe players chances like Eden Hazard, Dani Ceballos, Jesus Vallejo and Marco Asensio the opportunity to impress and knock on the door.
Quite surprisingly, to some, Marco Asensio has taken the chance. A string of good performances has reminded the club and the fans that the monster of a player we knew is still somewhere in there and can be relied on when called. These recent performances have convinced the board, and they are willing to renew Marco Asensio"s contract. So naturally, this has been a topic of discussion within the fan base.
Smart move or time to move on
Handing Marco Asensio a new contract after a run of good performances is a premature decision. This writer thinks it is time to move on. Marco Asensio is a fantastic player and a great talent.
But Asensio had the opportunity to stamp himself as more than a team player; unfortunately, he didn"t. So rewarding him with a new long-term contract seems like a wrong move.
A great example is Gareth Bale, who was rewarded with a new contract after a satisfactory performance in the 2017 champions league final. What followed after that was injury after injury until the contract expired. In the Champions League game against Celtic, Asensio played like he had a chip on his shoulder and performed exceptionally well, scoring a great goal to cap his satisfactory performance.
Fans shouldn"t have an issue with this version of Asensio being handed a new contract. However, the big question is, can Asensio replicate this form and continue delivering 8/10 performances for at least 25 games in a season?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Main image credit Embed from Getty Images