Michel Salgado Says Luka Jovic 'Needs Time' After Real Madrid Summer Transfer

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistOctober 14, 2019

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 25: Jovic of Real Madrid during the La Liga Santander  match between Real Madrid v Osasuna at the Santiago Bernabeu on September 25, 2019 in Madrid Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Former Real Madrid defender Michel Salgado has backed the club's summer signing Luka Jovic to come good after a tough start to life at his new club.

Jovic arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu having earned a reputation as one of the most exciting young forwards in European football. The Serb excelled for Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga and the UEFA Europa League last term.

As of yet, he's not shown his best in the Spanish capital and has yet to score for Los Blancos. Despite this stuttering start in the iconic all-white jersey, Salgado said to Omnisport (h/t Perform, via AS) that Jovic has the quality to be a big hit with Madrid:

"He's a young player. If Real Madrid signed him, is due to something. He has been a great player [for] Eintracht Frankfurt, lot of goals, great attacking quality.

"It is known that Real Madrid needed a 'nine,' a striker. [Karim] Benzema is a different 'nine,' a player that collects, combines over finishing. Jovic must still learn, [he's] a young player and Real Madrid [is] a team with a lot of pressure. He needs time. He has that time, we know he's a great striker, you guys know that here in Germany."

Salgado added that some "space" would benefit the 21-year-old and that "little by little" he would grow into the Real Madrid shirt.

Jovic did come close to scoring his first goal for the club against Osasuna last month, but his strike was ruled out after a VAR review found him to be narrowly offside:

Premier Sports 📺 @PremierSportsTV

🙈 Luka Jovic thought he had his first goal for Real Madrid, but he's ruled just offside as it's disallowed by VAR! https://t.co/qj9MAUTIEK

While it's been a struggle for Jovic so far at Madrid, if he can find the form he showcased last season with Frankfurt, he will be a huge asset to the team in the long-term.

The Serb scored 17 goals in 32 appearances in the German top flight, and Tifo Football broke down the best parts of his game:

At Madrid, he's tussling with Karim Benzema for a starting spot, with manager Zinedine Zidane typically using one centre-forward in the setup.

The Frenchman's form in the early weeks of the season has meant chances have been limited for Jovic. Benzema has continued to excel at the point of the attack, with his ability to link play, create chances and score goals making him a crucial member of the side.

The La Liga Twitter account summed up how prolific Benzema has been after he netted against Granada before the international break:

LaLiga @LaLigaEN

With 22 goals, @Benzema is now the top scorer in #LaLigaSantander in 2019! 🔥 #RealMadridGranada https://t.co/qFgM4q9sh7

With Madrid's calendar set to get congested in the coming weeks, the chances are Jovic will get more opportunities. Los Blancos have three games in a week when club football resumes, including key away games against Galatasaray and Barcelona.

For Jovic, getting that first goal will be a big moment. Once he does, it should allow him to regain his confidence, and he showed enough at Frankfurt to suggest he can play a big part for Madrid in the remaining months of the campaign.