Real Madrid have struggled with life post-Cristiano Ronaldo – and their decision not to replace him with a marquee signing has so far not paid off.
Ronaldo’s sale to Juventus earned Real €112million, but rather than replace him directly, the Spanish giants used the funds to bring in a number of lesser-known players.
We’ve taken a look at their summer signings to see how they’ve fared so far in 2018-19.
One of Real’s most hyped transfers in recent years had already been agreed ahead of the summer transfer window, with Vinicius arriving in a €45million move from Flamengo.
The 18-year-old understandably took a little while to settle at the Bernabeu, but doomed boss Julen Lopetegui was criticised for often leaving the forward to play for Madrid’s second team.
Vinicius has begun to feature much more under Santiago Solari, scoring twice and providing four assists in the Copa Del Rey, while also creating a goal in a six-minute cameo in the final of the Club World Cup against Al-Ain FC.
“Vinicius is making huge strides,” Solari said after the teenager scored in the cup against Leganés.
“He’s always had the talent, but to develop it at the Bernabeu surrounded by wonderful players speaks volumes about his confidence, rawness and the enjoyment he exudes with the ball at his feet.
“He’s 18 years of age and you have to look after yourself in football. It’s important for him to keep going.
“We’re very happy with his current performance levels, he’s keen to take people on. He’s bold and that individual ability to beat a man is very important in modern-day football.”
— Football Media (@FootbaIIGoaIs) January 10, 2019
Courted by Real Madrid for a while alongside David De Gea, Los Blancos finally got their man in the summer when they paid £35million to make Courtois the most expensive goalkeeper in La Liga history.
Courtois initially had to start on the bench, with long-standing No.1 Keylor Navas saying he would “rather die” than leave the Bernabeu.
But the Belgium international is now established as the first choice, although his position has come under scrutiny due to Real’s poor form, and an injury has opened the door for Navas to regain his place.
Life at Real Madrid isn't going to plan for Thibaut Courtois…
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) January 7, 2019
A €30million signing from Real Sociedad, Odriozola remains Madrid’s second choice right-back behind Dani Carvajal despite the hefty fee.
Age is at least on the side of the 23-year-old Spain international, and he has still made 13 appearances in all competitions due to an injury suffered by Carvajal.
The striker had been on Real Madrid’s books since 2011 before joining Lyon in an €8million deal ahead of the 2017-18 season.
After scoring 21 goals in all competitions, Los Blancos re-signed Mariano for €23million and handed him the daunting challenge of following in Ronaldo’s footsteps as the club’s No.7.
Injuries have restricted the 25-year-old to just 357 minutes, in which he has scored once.
mariano diaz this season
played 10 matches
missed 13 matches due to injury
our no.7👏👏 pic.twitter.com/bxPrghxFH4
— navasism (@kaakiretta) January 10, 2019
The goalkeeper joined Real Madrid from Zorya Luhansk in a deal potentially worth €14million but was immediately loaned out to Leganés, where he has played just 94 minutes in La Liga.
A former Derby County loanee, Eintracht Frankfurt signed Mascarell on a permanent deal in 2016, spending two years at the Bundesliga outfit.
Real Madrid activated a €4million buyback clause for the midfielder in the summer, only to sell him immediately on to Schalke for €10million.
Tidy business, it must be said.