Every first-team and academy player Real sold in 2019 & how they’ve fared

Quick Reads

Real Madrid will look back on 2019-20 as a successful season after clinching their first La Liga title in three years, but their triumph was more in spite of their transfer business rather than because of it.

Zinedine Zidane has placed his faith in Real’s old guard after big-money signings such as Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic have struggled for form and fitness.

We’ve taken a look back at the players sold at the end of 2018-19 which helped fund those moves to see if they’ve fared any better than Hazard and co.

Keylor Navas

After losing his place as No.1 goalkeeper to Thibaut Courtois last season, Navas ended his five-year spell at the Bernabeu by joining PSG last summer in a €15million deal that saw Alphonse Areola moving in the opposite direction on loan.

Navas has kept 17 clean sheets in 31 appearances for PSG to date, including in a 3-0 victory over his former club in the Champions League, although he experienced mixed emotions when returning to the Bernabeu for a 2-2 draw in November.

“The day before, during the walk of the pitch, I was about to turn left [to the Real Madrid players’ area], but I had to think, ‘Oh, no, it’s the other side,'” he told El Chiringuito.

“I appreciated that people would sing for me. I’ll always be grateful to those fans. I made mistakes, but they always supported me. I’ll always remember celebrating the titles because when we went out one by one, the love they showed me was incredible.”

Marcos Llorente

Despite never truly establishing himself in Real Madrid’s starting XI, the club still managed to command a fee of €40million for Llorente from city rivals Atletico.

Llorente had usually operated as a defensive midfielder at Real but has been used in a more advanced role by Diego Simeone, both on the right wing and just behind a striker, notably resulting in two goals at Anfield to knock Liverpool out of the Champions League.

READ: Marca’s best and worst XIs of the 2019-20 La Liga campaign

Theo Hernandez

Another fringe player, Hernandez was sold to AC Milan for €20million after spending last season on loan at Real Sociedad.

With six goals to his name, the left-back has been one of Milan’s top scorers for much of the season and has nailed down his spot in their starting XI.

Alvaro Tejero

Not quite as high profile a name, Tejero played under Zinedine Zidane for Real’s B team but made just one La Liga appearance for the senior side.

After spending last season on loan at Albacete, the full-back joined Eibar on a free transfer and made 20 appearances in all competitions as they continue to establish themselves in the top flight.

Aleix Febas

Another player familiar with Zidane from his time in the B team, Febas joined newly-promoted Mallorca in the summer but has been unable to prevent them suffering a relegation straight back to the second tier.

Failing to score as an attacking midfielder will probably do that.

Mateo Kovacic

Having spent last season on loan at Chelsea without pulling up any trees, Kovacic’sdeal was made permanent for £40million amid a sense that the Londoners only did say as he was one of the few players they could register while under a transfer ban.

But Kovacic has appeared much more comfortable at Stamford Bridge under Frank Lampard than he did under Maurizio Sarri.

“What he has that some other midfielders don’t have is that he can travel through midfield with the ball at pace and open up a game out of nowhere,” Lampard said after Chelsea beat Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final.

“If he can keep working on his all-round stuff and he has that special attribute then he can be huge for us, and he has been this season.

Lucas Silva

Signed as a promising 22-year-old from Cruzeiro in 2015, Silva failed to establish himself at Real Madrid, spending a season on loan at Marseille and two back at his former club in Brazil.

In September 2019, Real announced the midfielder’s contract had been terminated by mutual consent. The man once described as the “future” of Real by Carlo Ancelotti then joined Gremio in January, where he made two appearances before football’s postponement.

READ: Ranking Real Madrid’s 15 weirdest signings of the millennium

Raul de Tomas

We’ll always have a soft spot for De Tomas thanks to his heroics for our Leeds United side on an old version of Football Manager, but it’s fair to say 2019-20 has been a bit of a shitshow for the striker.

The 25-year-old was signed by Benfica for €20million in the summer, only to score just three times across the first half of the season. Espanyol then saw fit to break their transfer record to bring De Tomas back to Spain for the same fee.

Espanyol’s new Chinese owners hoped their wealth would propel the side to the Champions League. Instead, they suffered relegation for the first time in 27 years.

De Tomas briefly gave them hope by scoring four goals in his first four appearances but has failed to score since.

READ: The ups & downs seeing your Football Manager wonderkid develop in real life

Cristo Gonzalez

Gonzalez was signed by Real Madrid three years ago from Tenerife, where he had become the club’s second youngest player.

He made just four appearances for Real, although he did score on his debut in a Copa del Rey victory over lower league outfit UD Melilla.

A move to Udinese materialised in the summer, but the forward was then sent on loan to Huesca for the season, who he helped to promotion from Spain’s second tier, albeit having made as many appearances off the bench as he did from the start.

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