Real  Madrid youngster Vinicius Júnior is repaying the faith shown in him by manager Santiago Solari. The Brazil wonderkid who had drawn attention following a big money move from Flamengo over the summer proves his worth.
The Real Madrid hierarchy was unhappy with ex-manager  Julen Lopetegui for under-utilizing the forward during their tumultuous start to the season. Vinicius, to his credit, kept his head down during this period and consistently lit up the reserve team. Enter Solari.
The Argentine’s appointment last october offered the 18 year old a turning point from which he hasn’t looked back since. 2019 has brought even better from Vinicius who is now a sure starter, consigning Gareth Bale to the bench. The Brazilian has just come through Madrid’s biggest games of the season so far with his pedigree even bigger.
Photo via Angel Martinez- GETTY IMAGES

His pace, trickery and raw unpredictability as shown in El Clasico (Cup) and the Madrid Derby last week were decisive. He was Madrid’s main attacking outlet in both games and is never fazed by the occasion, dribbling and creating chances for teammates.
 His zippy style ensured he always kept his opponents guessing and drew fouls, winning Ramos’ penalty in the derby. Yet he does not shirk his defensive responsibilities too and could be seen helping out in his own area.
Of course, there are elements of his game which need improvement, as is expected of a flair 18 year old. There have been failed tricks and uncompleted passes but more to sink your teeth into. His delightful outside-of-the-boot cross for Lucas Vazquez against Atletico for instance.
Vinicius thrived on the home grounds of Real’s greatest ever rivals in the same week. Photo by Rubén Albarrán

He’s registered four goals and seven assists in 22 appearances in all competitions in less than half a season. His dynamism and importance to the team is impressive and his teammates, manager and ex-players are keen to protect him. He must be eased into taking responsibilities for the team whilst his talents are acknowledged.
Real Madrid fans also need to be patient with expectations and pressure on their rapid left winger. Right now, Vinicius only wants to perform and enjoy playing so sit back and enjoy.

The battle for the best 18 year old in Europe is certainly on and Jadon Sancho won’t be fazed. I only hope Callum Hudson-Odoi is taking notes?

Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin
February 11, 2019
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Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.

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