There was always a sudden thought that entered my mind whenever I saw Marco Asensio play well for Real Madrid post-2017: Is he actually going to be able to keep this up for long? Would he actually embark on a hot streak of form? Would he revisit the 2016-17 Asensio and bring him back to life? Now, whenever Asensio does something noteworthy, I just don’t pay attention to it until he proves me the hell wrong. That hasn’t happened yet.
This is not any hate on Asensio; I genuinely want him to do well, but this always has been an issue with him, hasn’t it? He’s always had problems in turning sparks into fire, and that’s how he went from being a highly sought-after Godsend, to a near-fringe player at Real Madrid, who always fails to live up to the lofty expectations he set for himself in his first season at the biggest club in the world.
Asensio’s lack of consistency is hurting his chances of succeeding at Real Madrid
Asensio scored a great goal for Real Madrid off the bench against Inter Milan mid-week – a left foot curler from the edge of the box towards the far corner. Asensio also scored a goal in a great performance vs Granada a couple of weeks ago. What did he do after that? He struggled, and wasn’t able to be consistent enough for a club of Real Madrid’s stature after that. Dial back a few more weeks. Asensio scores a hat-trick against Mallorca. All the confidence in the world, and in the next game against Villarreal, he’s a mere bystander.
You can open the history books and go back to any season bar 2016-17, and you will see the same thing. It wasn’t as bad for Asensio in 2017-18 as he did manage to have a bunch of really good games. But then, once Cristiano Ronaldo left and more responsibility was weighed on Asensio’s shoulders, he took a step back, rather than capitalizing on the need for *the* man. Mr. Reliable, one the team can turn to when they’re in desperate need of inspiration. Asensio, instead of driving the car, took the backseat.
Some say Asensio’s never had talent in the first place, which is a bit too much. Others say, he’ll get around to it, he has the talent, which is a bit too hopeful. I think he has a lot of unfulfilled potential, and it probably would never be fulfilled because he doesn’t back the talent up with hard work and consistency.
If you look at other options in the team – Rodrygo for example – it’s not like he’s inconsistent or doesn’t have bad games, he does. Definitely. But even during bad games, he makes his presence known. He’s always hounding the opponents, pressing them, or helping Carvajal or Vazquez in the defensive third. Can I say that for Asensio? No, when he’s not feeling it, he is invisible.
I applaud Asensio the person for returning from a near-career-ending injury and managing it this well, but I really don’t have any hopes for Asensio the player. Even if he performs well for five straight games, I’d be worried about the sixth, or the seventh, because history forces me to be worried.
If or when Asensio has a long run of fantastic games, then we’ll talk again, but while I think that he has time on his side, I just don’t believe that he’d have that phase anymore, not at Real Madrid, at the least.