29 Nov Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior going nowhere in January – Zinedine Zidane
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has ruled out a January loan move for Vinicius Junior.
The teenage Brazilian forward has seen his game time limited this season and has not started a match for Los Blancos since the defeat loss at Mallorca almost two months ago.
The arrivals of Eden Hazard and Rodrygo have pushed Vinicius Junior down the pecking order at the Bernabeu, prompting speculation he could head elsewhere when the transfer window opens.
But Zidane told a press conference: “He’s not going anywhere, he’ll stay here.
“He’s a member of this squad. There are 26 players here and perhaps he’s not playing so much at the moment but he’ll get his chance and will contribute, as ever, like all the players do.
“He’ll get his chance and he has to be ready to take it. Things have changed since last season because we’ve got Hazard and Rodrygo, who are both in good form.
“Last year he did a brilliant job and he wants to do the same when he gets time on the pitch. I have to choose, that’s my job, it won’t change.”
Hazard will miss out against in Saturday’s LaLiga clash at Alaves after he limped off with an ankle injury during the midweek Champions League draw with Paris St Germain.
The injury is not as serious as first feared but Zidane could not put a date on his return.
“I can’t give you a date. It’s nothing serious,” said Zidane. “I can tell you he took a good whack and has a slight sprain. His recovery will depend day to day.”
Gareth Bale came on to replace Hazard and received some whistles from the home fans, although nothing like the reception he received in the aftermath of his recent “Wales. Golf. Madrid” flag celebration.
The 30-year-old was agonisingly close to scoring a late winner only to see a free-kick come back off a post.
“We’re behind him and so are the fans,” said Zidane. “We have to continue like this because it’s not going to have much impact on how we play.
“The important thing is to show we’re here and willing to keep going despite any difficulties. That’s part and parcel of being a footballer.
“The key is that everyone offers the support needed by every single player, that really is most important.”
Real, who are joint top of LaLiga with Barcelona, travel to an Alaves side lying 13th on Saturday afternoon.