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Víctor Chust will return to Cádiz and will have to improve his disappointing season

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These observations, where I look real MadridThe history of the club, its players on loan, Castilla, the tactical details and other relevant thoughts are now commonplace. All previous editions can be found here.


It passed quickly, but Victor’s Chust’s one-year loan spell at Cadiz has concluded, somewhat unceremoniously and with little relevance to the grand scheme of the transfer window. He heads up a slow weekend and signs permanently with Cadiz, with whom he played a lot but did not do enough to persuade Real Madrid to take on the squad role, especially now with the plethora of centre-backs at Carlo’s disposal. Ancelotti.

Not that anyone is severely disappointed or has taken a shotgun to his expectations, which were pretty tame at first, but it’s also true that he didn’t stand out much over Chust as I watched him play week after week. He’s not particularly bad (although he is lagging behind on a few things, detailed later); but he’s not particularly good either. The May be fine as a fourth or fifth choice centre-back, but then what’s the point? That he starts every week for Cádiz makes more sense than other options on the table.

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Perhaps some are disappointed that Real Madrid have not put up a lot of money for him. Most of those on loan do not end up as Real Madrid players. That is not a generalization or a lazy blanket statement. Matt Wiltse and I have reviewed every Real Madrid loan in history (since the ’50s, at least), and if you’re on loan, you almost certainly won’t be back permanently. But in most cases, you can trade those players for a profit, which is something fans can often forget: Young players, cruel as they may seem, are money-making pawns. Brought cheap or free, paid little, then sold for a decent to great price.

But as reported by Goal and Marca this weekend, Cádiz will pay only 1 million signings to Real Madrid for Chust’s services. Is it that bad? Not necessarily. Cádiz pays virtually nothing, but also only retains 50% of its rights, while parent club Real Madrid have the right of first refusal over any future Chust sales. In simpler terms, if Chust blows up and becomes big, Real Madrid can still have him. Selling him for 1m basically allows the club to keep him out on an “extended loan” where they don’t pay his salary but retain enough rights to make a calculated decision going forward.

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Unless you are very nerdy and like to watch Cadiz every week to follow Chust, you may not care what happens here with a player who will not play in an elite team and may never return. But after following him weekly, here’s what I’d like to see him improve on: following runners into the box and defending junctions. Ironically, those two traits were Real Madrid’s weak points last season. Chust regularly struggled to find out who is behind him and what races are going on. A simple run into his blind spot was deadly when he was attacking Cadiz, particularly as left-back Alfonso Espino was a defensive risk and was easily beaten with a simple cut from the flank. Chust was fine in those situations where he had to come cover for Espino’s beating, but he would break out in a sweat when he had to deal with cutbacks or crosses, and in particular following runners into the penalty area.

In the spring, when Sergio González took over managerial duties from Alvaro Cervera, Cádiz switched to a 3-5-2 with Chust as the left elbow. Cádiz held the ball a little longer, in turn, increasing Chust’s touches. His ability on the ball wasn’t that bad. He is above average on strikes coming out of the back and is good under pressure. He is also strong in 50/50 duels. But he’s not a good ball progressor in general, and he has trouble making more daring passes between the lines. He doesn’t give his game enough verticality, both in passing range and ball handling.

Part of that, naturally, is due to Cadiz not having much ball control. In a different scheme, such as Celta Vigo, Rayo Vallecano or Elche, Chust could have more accumulation opportunities to continually work on those traits. In Cádiz, the team with the lowest possession (40.9% per game), it is difficult.

Chust’s loan at Cádiz was quite calm and disappointing, and he leaves without Real Madrid reflecting too much on his future. He will have to look at the next season with one thing in mind: to improve and make a mark. It gives Real Madrid something to think about.

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