Clamour grows for regular Jese role
Ancelotti pleased with defensive improvement
The clamour to include emerging attacker Jese Rodriguez in the Real Madrid starting team has continued, with Blancos fans calling for either Karim Benzema or Gareth Bale to be dropped from their preferred XI.
Jese scored his fifth goal in his last five starts for Madrid in Sunday’s 3-0 La Liga win at Getafe, after which coach Carlo Ancelotti suggested he could well leave out 101 million galactico Bale when Cristiano Ronaldo returns from his current three game suspension.
AS ran an online poll on Monday asking Madrid fans for their views on the selection dilemma. Forty percent of respondents said they would drop Karim Benzema, 38 percent opted to leave out Bale, and only 22 percent would have Jese on the bench.
Jese, who turns 21 on Feb. 26, has played just 1,042 minutes in all competitions so far in his first season as a senior squad player at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. But over that time he has provided a goal or an assist every 74 minutes, a better return than either Wales captain Bale [85 minutes] or France international Benzema [105 minutes]. Ronaldo [63 minutes] still tops this particularly ranking at Madrid.
Ancelotti’s latest contribution to the debate was to tell Corriere dello Sport that Jese was incredibly talented, but also recall that he had coached other young stars like former Milan starlet Alexandre Pato in the past.
"[Jese] is a 'crazy' talent, and he is still not 21,” Ancelotti said. “I have trained others like him. Pato was like him."
Madrid right-back Dani Carvajal, who played through the youth ranks with his current senior teammate, also weighed in by telling Madrid’s website that Jese could be as good a player as he wanted to be.
“I have shared a changing room with him for quite a while and I am not surprised by the quality he is showing,” Carvajal said. “He can go as far as he wants. He is a great player, he is having a spell of excellent form and he is making the most of his time on the pitch.”