Spurred on by the success of Jese Rodriguez over the last few months, players in the Real Madrid academy setup have reasons to believe in their future at the club again.
Too many players have fallen by the wayside in recent seasons, and it has been a while since the club have had a player they consider their own to really shout about—and they've certainly been shouting about Jese.
It means a door that previously seemed forever shut, now seems slightly open, and there is a core of young players who will be hoping to make the step up into the first team next season.
“I’m a hard working player with great vision” (h/t Real Madrid official website).
Despite a wealth of riches in the Los Blancos midfield, plus their perceived interest in Paul Pogba, according to Marca, it is still hoped Real Madrid Castilla midfielder Jose Rodriguez will have a future in the first team.
A player the Madrid website describes as "technically and physically gifted," the 19-year-old has already been capped by Spain up to Under-20 level.
Carlo Ancelotti is also a known admirer.
In January's friendly match against Paris Saint-Germain—where his namesake Jese scored the winner—Rodriguez was handed the first 45 minutes by the Italian coach.
That wasn't his first involvement in Madrid's first team. He made his debut against Alcoyano under Jose Mourinho in the Copa del Rey back in 2012.
He then went on to become the youngest player ever to play for the club in the Champions League at 17 years and 354 days when he replaced Kaka in a fixture against Ajax three days after making his La Liga debut against Atletico Madrid.
“I’m a humble, hard working player” (h/t Real Madrid official website).
Another midfielder with an eye on the first-team squad next season is Omar Mascarell, a 21-year-old Real Madrid TV commentator @PhilKitro insists people "will know about soon."
Again, Ancelotti is speculated to be a fan of the Canary Islander and called him up to train with Cristiano Ronaldo and co in February of this year—Mascarell made his debut against Osasuna in the final game of last season.
Madrid's website suggests he is "the brain of Castilla" and there is no doubt his future lies in one of Europe's top-five leagues—the question is how high can he go?
Born in the same year and same month as Jese, there is a feeling that if he doesn't break into the first team squad next season, during which he will turn 22, then his future may be better served elsewhere.
The other option is a season-long loan with another La Liga side next season, so that Ancelotti and the club can analyse just how much potential he has.
Best of the rest
Madrid fought off interest from Italian clubs (h/t Marca) to ensure €7 million-rated Peruvian midfielder Cristian Benavente remains with the club for the time being.
He's a 19-year-old from a sporting family—his mother played in the Peruvian volleyball team and his father in the Second Division of indoor football—and has told the club's website that he is a "versatile player with a good nose for goals."
Meanwhile, in defence there are two young Spanish internationals hoping to make their mark on the Bernabeu fans.
Derik Osede has long been involved with Spain at youth level and has recently made the step up to the Under-21 setup alongside the likes of Jese, Alvaro Morata and Isco.
The 21-year-old is a powerful player who possesses a strong challenge.
Alongside him at the heart of the Real Madrid Castilla defence is Diego Llorente—a 20-year-old who has already made his first-team bow for the Spanish capital club.
Llorente is a versatile defender who can also play at right-back. His height also means he's good in the air and, like Derik, he will be desperately hoping that Raphael Varane is not the only defender with a future in Ancelotti's side.
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