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Can Vinicius JR still be the main man at Real Madrid in 22/23?

When a young player moves to Real Madrid there will always be huge pressure put on that player's shoulders. That pressure was applied to the fresh faced Vinicius when he joined Los Blancos in 2018 for an initial £40 million. In his first two seasons playing at the Bernabeu the pressure showed as he only hit 11 goals and 11 assists across all competitions which were average numbers.On the eye he still looked incredibly raw and seemed to lack confidence when in the final third.


Then when Carlo Ancelotti took over for 21/22 I don’t think many fans were predicting quite the season Vinicius was going to have. Suddenly the Brazilian looked rejuvenated and his confidence seemed to be at an all time high. Ancelotti gave Vinicus a freedom that he had not yet had in Madrid as he now has little defensive responsibility and was tasked with progressing the ball up the field as quickly as possible and linking with target man Benzema in the final third which clearly worked towards the players strengths. This proved hugely successful as by the end of the season Vinicius had 22 goals and 20 assists across all competitions and along with Benzema spearheaded Madrid's charge towards Champions League glory with the icing on the cake being the winning goal in the final scored by Vinicius and assisted by Benzema. The pair also maintained this high level of productivity throughout the La Liga season which they eventually won without breaking a sweat.


However can Vinicius maintain this level next season? Well, you would be silly to bet against him as Real Madrid have signed two players in Tchoumanai and Rudiger to compliment the squad and add some much needed squad depth. In La liga Barcelona are still in transition and cross town rivals Athletico look as vulnerable as ever so expect Benzema and Vinicus to continue smashing the records in La Liga as Real Madrid look set to dominate. Ancelotti also seems to have built the team around this duo so it would be a surprise to see a change of style within the club after such a successful season so Hazard will have his work cut out to displace the important Vinicius!


However Anchelotti now has a selection dilemma as Eden Hazard finally looks back to fitness and this could mean he rotates more with Vinicus as Anchelotti will not want to move away from his style of football and play two out and out wingers instead of playing a more defensive right midfielder in Valverde and Asensio which has served him so well. Vinicius had also never before hit the numbers he did in 21/22 and at the age of 22 it will be a test of character to see if he can once again hit the lofty heights of that season and kick on.


Ancelotti will not be so keen to drop a player that expertly progresses the ball and creates a huge bulk of the goal scoring chances so expect Vinicius to remain stapled into the lineup in 22/23.With Qatar 2022 around the corner Vinicus will want to prove to Tite this was no fluke season and that he should be the main man come November. Expect Vinicius to have another storming football season.



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