Zinedine Zidane Says Vinicius Jr. 'Not Going Anywhere' Amid January Loan Talk

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 29, 2019

EIBAR, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 9: Vinicius Jr. of Real Madrid  during the La Liga Santander  match between Eibar v Real Madrid at the Estadio Municipal de Ipurua on November 9, 2019 in Eibar Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has shut down talk of Vinicius Junior leaving the club on loan in January.

The 19-year-old has struggled for game time this season, and Real Valladolid owner Ronaldo—who played for Madrid between 2002 and 2007—has publicly stated his desire to recruit him on loan.

Per AS' Rob Train and Andy Hall, Zidane, a former team-mate of Ronaldo's at the Santiago Bernabeu, said on Friday:

"No, he's not going anywhere, he will stay here, he's a member of the squad.

"We have 25 or 26 players. Lately he hasn't been playing much, but we will still count on him.

"Right now it's not his moment, but very quickly it could be, and he is here to help the team. He will stay here." 

Zidane added that "we'll see tomorrow" as to whether he features in Saturday's trip to Deportivo Alaves and said Vinicius "has to be ready for when his chance comes."

The teenager was a bright spark in an otherwise disappointing season for Los Blancos in the last campaign.

He made 31 first-team appearances, including 20 starts. In that time, he contributed an impressive 12 assists, as well as scoring on three occasions.

However, a knee injury caused him to miss the first eight of Zidane's 11 matches after the Frenchman returned to the dugout in March, replacing Santiago Solari.

This season, he has played just 11 times and made only four starts, the most recent of which was on October 19. Vinicius has produced one goal and one assist during his 448 minutes on the pitch.

After the Brazilian was left out of Real's UEFA Champions League squad to face Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, football writers Kaustubh Pandey and Zach Lowy both suggested he be sent on loan:

Given he'd likely be a regular starter elsewhere and he's at a stage in his career where game time is needed for his development, a loan could be the best course of action for all parties.

That said, Vinicius' situation could improve in January when the Supercopa de Espana and the Copa del Rey return.

Real will play two matches in the former on January 8 and 12 if they beat Valencia in the first game, while in the latter, they could play four matches between January 22 and February 12 if they progress to the semi-finals.

They'll still have La Liga duties to contend with and the return of the UEFA Champions League knockout phase, so Zidane will need to make use of his entire squad during that period, Vinicius included.

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