Real Madrid midfielder Marcos Llorente will reportedly remain at the Santiago Bernabeu for the second half of 2018-19 after the club cancelled a previously agreed loan move to Alaves.
According to AS (h/t Football Espana), the 23-year-old's fine performance against Roma in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday prompted Real to call off the loan deal so that Llorente stays in Madrid into 2019.
Before Tuesday's 2-0 win, in which Llorente played 90 minutes as a replacement for the injured Casemiro, the Spaniard had been afforded just 11 minutes in La Liga all season and his Real career seemed all but over:
A switch to Alaves looked an obvious move given he thrived there during a season-long loan in 2016-17, starting 31 league games.
However, his impressive showing against Roma could have changed his career path.
Llorente was all-action against the Serie A side, showing off his impressive work rate, excellent range of passing and smart defensive abilities.
Goalscorer Lucas Vazquez called the performance "spectacular," per Jamie Smith of Goal.
Real's midfield has previously been largely impenetrable as Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Casemiro are so consistently impressive.
But they have not been as solid this season, particularly Modric, who has shown signs of fatigue after his efforts in the summer with Croatia at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Real manager Santiago Solari could well benefit from experimenting with his squad, and Llorente should be under consideration for more first-team action.
He is a product of Real's academy and does not deserve to spend his time on the sidelines, and the fact that his Alaves move has seemingly been called off is a clear indication he will be used more often in the remainder of the season.