A talented playmaker often struggled for starts under Zinedine Zidane, but senior stars are impressing a new coach at Santiago Bernabeu.
Carlo Ancelotti has suggested that Isco will be given a clean slate at Real Madrid following several windows of transfer speculation.
The talented Spain international midfielder struggled for regular starts under previous Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane, taking in just eight through 25 La Liga outings last season.
With the 29-year-old’s ability never in question there has been plenty of exit talk to be found, but Ancelotti is ready to make the most of considerable experience at his disposal.
What has been said?
The Italian, who is back at Santiago Bernabeu for a second spell, told Real Madrid TV: “I’ve really enjoyed finding those two things: the quality among the youngsters, many of whom I didn’t know very well, and, above all, the hunger and commitment from the likes of [Dani] Carvajal, Nacho, Marcelo, Lucas Vazquez and Isco, who’ve won it all in recent years and still have great desire, excitement and hunger to have a good season, which is what we’re all looking to do.”
Ancelotti has inherited a star-studded squad from Zidane, who walked away from the final year of his contract in the Spanish capital.
Real are, however, eager to bolster their ranks and have already got one addition through the door.
Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe remains a top target, if funds can be freed up from moving a few out, but David Alaba is on board.
The Austria international has joined as a free agent after reaching the end of his contract at Bayern Munich and Ancelotti is embracing the selection headache that his versatility poses.
The Blancos coach said of a player he has previously worked with in Germany: “He’s a strong all-round player with a lot of quality. He’s also very smart in terms of defensive tactics.
“I played him at centre-back in my last few games at Bayern and he did very well. He played at left wing-back and has a lot of experience and is very smart. He’s capable of playing in both positions and has even played in central midfield for Austria.
“He’s a strong all-round player who I’m sure will have a really good season.”