Zinedine Zidane has gone to great lengths to emphasise the non-negotiable status of Real Madrid’s attacking trident of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, and Cristiano Ronaldo, and yet a different line-up has been more fruitful.
The ‘AML’ of Marco Asensio, Alvaro Morata, and Lucas Vazquez has launched ahead of their prestigious teammates in less time and with less experience of playing together.
While Cultural Leonesa were hardly staunch opposition on Wednesday night, the trio made use of the Copa del Rey clash to stride past the BBC’s 12 goal tally by racking up 13 of their own in 2016/17.
Despite being largely restricted to the bench, Morata and Asensio have six goals apiece alongside Vazquez’s strike past Legia Warsaw in the Champions League, to push past the four goals held by each of Benzema, Bale, and Ronaldo.
It can be easy to dismiss the BBC’s woe in the face of considerable fitness woe, but it’s worth bearing in mind that Asensio hadn’t properly pulled on a Real jersey until the UEFA Super Cup in August, whilst his equally-youthful teammates have both spent plenty of time away at other clubs.
For Zidane, it serves as both a positive in terms of having a wealth of options over the short and long-term, as well as a big quandary in denying either in-form youngsters or big-name beasts a spot in the starting XI.