MONTREAL, Canada, Sporting Alert – Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is trying out playing two strikers this season and if Karim Benzema and Alvaro Morata click together, James Rodriguez could be spending a lot of time on the bench again.
With Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale expected to miss the European Super Cup final next month because of fitness reasons, Zidane has been trying out some alternatives and the Frenchman has been keeping a close eye on the partnership of Benzema and the returning Morata.
And if the combination works, it could mean Rodríguez, who opted to stay at Real Madrid instead of moving somewhere else, could be left frustrated again on the bench.
The Colombian captain survived a very frustrating second season with the Spanish giants and was reportedly seeking a move away from the La Liga club this summer, with Premier League sides Manchester United and Chelsea strongly linked to his signature.
However, the midfield playmaker, who fell out of favour under Zidane and made just 17 league starts last season, declared that he will stay at Real Madrid and fight for his place, but is expecting to play more.
“At Real Madrid this season I hope to play more,” he told Caracol TV.
“I want it to be a good season, and to perform at a high level.”
It is understood that Rodríguez will get his chance to convince his head coach that he should be playing more, but if Benzema and Morata form a good connection, the 25-year-old can prepare for an extended life as a substitute.
The Real Madrid squad is currently training at the Saputo Stadium in Canada and was watched by some 4,000 spectators in the last training session.
Real Madrid will line up against French champions Paris Saint-Germain F.C. in an International Champions Cup fixture in Columbus, Ohio on Wednesday.