Marco Asensio believes his situation at Real Madrid regarding playing time isn’t comparable to Alvaro Morata’s last year because the two players are at different stages in their careers.
Per ESPN FC’s Dermot Corrigan, he said: “Morata’s case is very different [than mine]. When he returned to Madrid, he wanted to be more important. I am 21, just starting out in this. I always want to take advantage of the playing time I get from the coach, whether 15 or 20 minutes, or when starting, so that I can be counted on for important games in future.”
Morata, 25, left for Chelsea in the summer after returning to Real from Juventus last year.
The Spaniard contributed 20 goals and six assists from 19 starts, but despite his good form he was often benched for Los Blancos’ biggest games—he did not play a single minute against Barcelona or Bayern Munich, played just two minutes in four matches against Atletico Madrid and just one minute in the UEFA Champions League final.
Asensio is among the brightest prospects in Real’s senior squad, and he has bagged seven goals and two assists thus far. SB Nation’s Lucas Navarrete believes he is ready to play a key role at the Santiago Bernabeu:
He is yet to start in the Champions League and has played just 44 minutes in the competition across three outings.
However, the 21-year-old has been involved in every game but one this season—which he missed through injury—and played 1,022 minutes having started 10 matches, putting him over half way to Morata’s tally last season of 1,872 minutes and 19 starts already.
As such, while he could be playing a bigger role at the club, he’s still being used by manager Zinedine Zidane. The Frenchman discussed Asensio and Real’s other youngsters, per Corrigan:
The midfielder is not alarmed by the number of minutes he is receiving, and the game time he is being handed is impressive for a player of his age.
Morata was unfortunate to play for the club at the same time as the untouchable Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, whom Zidane has kept faith in even amid some less than stellar form over the last year.
Asensio has more scope to carve out a place given his ability to play on either flank or centrally and Gareth Bale’s fitness issues.
As he continues to develop his game, his importance at the Bernabeu will grow accordingly, and he’ll soon start games even more regularly than he does now.