Real Madrid has had its ups and downs. Starting off the season brilliantly with wins against Real Zaragoza, Getafe and Dinamo Zagreb, it soon turned around with a loss to Levante and a draw with Racing Santander.
Now back with a win against neighbors Rayo Vallecano, Jose Mourinho will nevertheless be looking at his players and placing questions marks over the heads of the unimpressive ones.
The January transfer window will come in handy in selling these players. From the first day of the month to the last, deals are being sorted out with a range of clubs.
Here are four suggestions for Real Madrid when they look to cut off the squad's loose ends.
Alvaro Morata?! Unexpected, yes. But hear me out.
Despite his great and obvious ability and talent, he is still young. Battling with fellow youngster Joselu and first-team stars Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain, Morata will find it hard to see the pitch outside of the 3rd Division with Real Madrid Castilla.
Morata still has a big future with Real Madrid, no doubt, but as is often true with growing players like him, on-field experience is the best. Come January, when the majority of "easier" Cope del Rey games are finished, a loan spell with another top La Liga outfit could do the young Spaniard worlds of good.
Similar to Sergio Canales, to spend some time gaining experience with a top division club playing week-in, week-out, will see Morata go from having "bags of potential" to "bags of ability." If the suggested loan is successful, the striker could return to Madrid ready to challenge for a starting position.
No way. Oh, yes. But only a loan!
For similar reasons to Morata, a loan could be suggested for Jese due to his young age.
Despite already making two bright appearances in the preseason, come January a player as young as he is will be looking to play outside of Castilla. A loan to another La Liga outfit could see him push for a first-team spot.
For almost all the same reasons as Alvaro Morata, the Spaniard should go on a loan, perhaps for a longer period than his compatriot, but he would nevertheless come back with invaluable experience—experience that will see him succeed within a short time of his return.
Last January it was Mohammed Diarra heading out of the Santiago Bernabeu, could it be the last standing Blanco Diarra this January?
Lassana, arriving from the English Premier League in 2009, could possibly go back to England after being heavily linked with North Londoners, Tottenham Hotspur, of late.
Sadly, Lass played very poorly against Rayo Vallecano this past Saturday, but he helped set up a goal...for Rayo, 15 seconds into the game. He was soon subbed off for German playmaker Mesut Ozil.
This was completely unimpressive from the Frenchman. Unless he can turn himself around in the next playing opportunity handed to him by Mourinho, it seems unlikely we'll see him playing in the white of Real past January.
Not to mention the overly-packed midfield currently at Madrid. He may find playing time hard to come across and will probably prosper more at (perhaps) Tottenham.
Kaka, Ozil, Sahin, Khedira, Altintop, Coentrao, Alonso and if need be Pepe—just to name a few battling Madrid-born Esteban Granero for three spots in the starting XI at midfield.
While he may be a very good player, Granero unfortunately doesn't seem like the most likely contender to earn a place among the three, having only made one appearance so far this season. He seems to be on the outside of the Madrid team now, rather unnecessary.
Even if Granero wanted to see more playing time, he could begin on a loan with the possibility of purchase at the end. Otherwise, Real Madrid could aim to sell him to top clubs in Spain or elsewhere. He has been previously linked with Arsenal and Malaga.