Sergio Reguilón

I think it would be good to get him some time on Tuesday, even if it is just a half, I am sure one of Davies, Cirkin or Sess could come in for him if needed, and then keep him back in London so he has more time to get settled in and play him the full 90 on the weekend.

I know these guys travel in comfort but with all that has gone on for him in the past week not sure he needs to make the flight and bus ride to Macedonia on a Thursday night and then have a short turnaround to the Newcastle game.
 
I think it would be good to get him some time on Tuesday, even if it is just a half, I am sure one of Davies, Cirkin or Sess could come in for him if needed, and then keep him back in London so he has more time to get settled in and play him the full 90 on the weekend.

I know these guys travel in comfort but with all that has gone on for him in the past week not sure he needs to make the flight and bus ride to Macedonia on a Thursday night and then have a short turnaround to the Newcastle game.

42.07
List A has to be submitted online by the following fixed deadlines:

  1. 12 August 2020 (24.00CET) for all matches in the preliminary round;
  2. 21 August 2020 (24.00CET) for all matches in the first qualifying round;
  3. 10 September 2020 (24.00CET) for all matches in the second qualifying round;
  4. 18 September 2020 (24.00CET) for all matches in the third qualifying round;
  5. 25 September 2020 (24.00CET) for all matches in the play-offs;
  6. 6 October 2020 (24.00CET) for all further matches from the first match in the group stage up to and including the final.
I suspect Reguilon was signed too late to be registered for EL (he's not on UEFA site atm).

He was injured playing for Spain at the start of the month, so no idea if that has fully cleared up or not.

Given he's hardly met his team mates as he signed on Saturday, yesterday, might be better to let him meet and train with them (as Monday training is likely to be about finalising 'team shape' etc for Tuesday match) for a few days before first match on Sunday v Newcastle.
 
42.07
List A has to be submitted online by the following fixed deadlines:


  1. 12 August 2020 (24.00CET) for all matches in the preliminary round;
  2. 21 August 2020 (24.00CET) for all matches in the first qualifying round;
  3. 10 September 2020 (24.00CET) for all matches in the second qualifying round;
  4. 18 September 2020 (24.00CET) for all matches in the third qualifying round;
  5. 25 September 2020 (24.00CET) for all matches in the play-offs;
  6. 6 October 2020 (24.00CET) for all further matches from the first match in the group stage up to and including the final.
I suspect Reguilon was signed too late to be registered for EL (he's not on UEFA site atm).

He was injured playing for Spain at the start of the month, so no idea if that has fully cleared up or not.

Given he's hardly met his team mates as he signed on Saturday, yesterday, might be better to let him meet and train with them (as Monday training is likely to be about finalising 'team shape' etc for Tuesday match) for a few days before first match on Sunday v Newcastle.

Igula Igula

Although UEFA have an additional rule that might allow us to register Reguilon for the match on Thursday :

For the qualifying phase and the play-offs, a club may register a maximum of two new eligible players on List A after the above-mentioned deadlines, provided the quota of locally trained players is respected. Such registration must be completed by 24.00CET on the day before the relevant single-leg match and the club’s association must confirm in writing that the new player is eligible to play at domestic level at this time.

Can see me checking the uefa site on Wednesday and Thursday trying to see if he has been registered in the squad !
 
Igula Igula

Although UEFA have an additional rule that might allow us to register Reguilon for the match on Thursday :

For the qualifying phase and the play-offs, a club may register a maximum of two new eligible players on List A after the above-mentioned deadlines, provided the quota of locally trained players is respected. Such registration must be completed by 24.00CET on the day before the relevant single-leg match and the club’s association must confirm in writing that the new player is eligible to play at domestic level at this time.

Can see me checking the uefa site on Wednesday and Thursday trying to see if he has been registered in the squad !

I hope it doesn't matter as there is no reason to have him go to Macedonia after just arriving in London on the weekend.
 

goatseducer70

Supporter
eromtoutegotdeenuoytuosihtdekrowuoyfi
I'd like to see him start against Orient and see how his legs are.

I'd be reluctant to send him to North Macedonia as he's just settling in. He's a young lad in a new country at the end of the day, give him the chance to settle in. Plus I've looked at the place we're going to on Thursday and fuck me... calling it a shithole would be a monumental understatement. Let's not scare him off a week in 😂
 
What he needs to know is who was the last player to be considered a good player from the off by the fans. I think it will have been some time ago. All the 3 players bought this summer are already receiving criticism, even Kane and Son were not highly regarded at first. Just hope he gets time to settle but doubt it.
 

The Swellhead Spur

You stupid cunt.
When The Athletic broke the news on Tuesday that Tottenham Hotspur were in talks with Real Madrid to sign both Gareth Bale and Sergio Reguilon, it was understandable that most Spurs fans were a tad more excited about the potential return of their former superstar goalscorer than the arrival of a far less high profile left-back.

Bale was a phenomenon during his first spell as a Tottenham player for sure, but it is arguable that at this stage of their respective careers Reguilon is more likely to make a bigger splash in the Premier League for them over the next few years.

Spurs are getting a player who, over the last two seasons, has developed from a bit-part reserve at Real into a Europa League winner on loan at Sevilla last season and likely the first choice left-back for Spain at next summer’s European Championship.
The diminutive but combative full-back brings plenty of the bite that Jose Mourinho has claimed is missing from his side, while also offering tactical flexibility either on the left of an orthodox back four, or pushed forward to wing-back.

The question remains, though, why the Spanish champions had seemed as keen to move Reguilon on as the 23-year-old was to get away from the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Coach Zinedine Zidane has never been a fan, and three times now has turned down the chance to have him in his squad.

Madrid-born Reguilon was also clear in his ambition to move to a big club, preferably in England, and keep his career moving forward.

The pair’s lack of personal feeling could well turn out to have helped Tottenham pull off a real transfer coup with a signing from Real Madrid, no matter what happens in the still-ongoing talks over Bale’s future.

The ‘open’ 15 minutes at the start of Real Madrid training sessions are usually quiet as the players know the media are watching, but those reporters dozing on the press balcony at the Valdebebas complex one sunny morning in October 2018 were quickly woken up.

During a routine warm-up exercise, Reguilon raised the temperature by challenging Sergio Ramos with an elbow flying. Cameras captured the club captain then angrily booting a ball directly at his young team-mate, and coaches had to stop everything and persuade Ramos to calm down. It was a marked moment for a 21-year-old who had still not made his La Liga debut.

When Santi Solari replaced Julen Lopetegui as first-team coach soon afterwards, following a 5-1 Clasico defeat at Barcelona, Reguilon immediately had his chance as the pair knew each other very well from Solari’s time coaching the club’s Castilla youth team.

He began to start regularly ahead of previous first choice Marcelo, whose form and fitness had slumped. Fans and pundits were impressed by the local lad’s mix of grit and determination — especially when it was contrasted with the apparent poor attitude of many of the team’s superstars. By the January, he was established as first choice — and provided a couple of handy assists for Casemiro and Karim Benzema in victories over Sevilla and Alaves as, for a while at least, it looked like the team had turned a corner.

That collective improvement proved to be illusory, but Reguilon was again one of the few to emerge with his reputation intact from the dispiriting defeats to Barcelona in Copa del Rey and La Liga, and then disaster at home to Ajax in the Champions League’s last 16.
He was maybe at fault as his man Ousmane Dembele set up one of the goals in the cup Clasico, but also showed character and fighting spirit when other team-mates had given up, and almost found the net himself in both games against the Catalans.

A number of clashes with Lionel Messi riled the Barcelona talisman, but were enjoyed by Madrid fans. TV cameras caught him saying “What’s itching you, flea?” to the Argentinian during one verbal exchange, while he also called Barcelona striker Luis Suarez, he of the prominent front teeth, a “rabbit”. There was a similar refusal to lie down and accept what was happening to his team during the Ajax debacle, when he again fought against the tide with an assist for Marco Asensio’s only goal for the club in that 4-1 Bernabeu humbling.

Reguilon’s standing with the fans was at its highest, and many at the Bernabeu were now expecting him to join Dani Carvajal as fixtures on either side of the defence for the foreseeable future. Among those impressed was Terry Gibson, the former Tottenham, Manchester United and Wimbledon forward who has watched Reguilon’s emergence in his current role as full-time pundit on La Liga TV.

“He was a tenacious left-back that was good at defending,” Gibson says. “He impressed me a lot. He was a young kid coming into the team, but he was getting stuck in, being aggressive. He settled in nicely when he had a manager in Solari who believed in him and trusted him. I thought they had a player to fill the left-back role at Real Madrid for a long time.”
Solari’s sacking following that Ajax defeat brought Zidane back as coach, and the former galactico immediately restored Marcelo to the side. Reguilon started just two of the remaining 11 games of the season, and Madrid soon spent €55 million (£47 million) to sign Lyon left-back Ferland Mendy, further blocking his path to becoming the team’s first-choice at the position long term.
“It was a bit of a surprise when they went out and spent the money on Ferland Mendy,” Gibson says.

“Nothing seemed to happen, it was just an instant change. He never got an opportunity under Zidane. From what I saw of him, he was a very good full-back — just what Real Madrid were looking for from a defender.”

Gibson is not the only observer surprised by Zidane’s treatment of Reguilon — going back to the former galactico approving a 2015 loan to Logrones when he was managing him for Castilla then sending him back to the same club a year later after succeeding Rafa Benitez with the first team. Sources close to the player have confirmed to The Athletic that the pair’s relationship has not been good for some time, but did not comment on Spanish media stories that Zidane’s son, Luca, had a falling out with Reguilon when they were both kids in Madrid’s academy.

Whatever the reality of the situation, it was clear the relationship was not going to work long term — hence the loan move to Sevilla last summer.

Lopetegui had also not appeared a huge fan of Reguilon during their short time together at Real Madrid, playing him in only one of his 14 games in charge — a Champions League group defeat away to CSKA Moscow. However, Sevilla’s canny sporting director Monchi saw off competition from a raft of other La Liga clubs last summer to get him to the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan, to play under Lopetegui, on loan.

Reguilon immediately became first choice in an all-new defence, with his debut bringing his first La Liga goal, a scrambled effort from close range against Espanyol that owed more to his tenacity than technical ability.

His usefulness in attack soon became apparent, however, as he and Jesus Navas formed La Liga’s most impressive full-back pairing. He provided four assists over the domestic season, and then another goal to beat Valencia 1-0 on the final day — cutting back into the box from the byline and firing into the far corner with his (usually little-used) right foot.

“Attacking was not the strength that I saw first (from him) at Real Madrid,” says Gibson. “That was a different system and he was asked to do different jobs, to concentrate mainly on his defensive duties. At Sevilla, we saw the other side of his game develop, pushing forward and matching Navas on the other flank.
“That was a pleasant surprise — he was more than just tenacious and aggressive, he had another side to him. He had the energy and the fitness levels to get up and down for 90 minutes, and he was pretty good when he got himself into attacking positions. His final ball was good, he scored one or two goals, he created chances and at the same time he still looks as strong as ever defensively.”

Reguilon again impressed during the Europa League’s final stages in August. He scored against Roma in the last 16, taking advantage of a weak defence to run 40 yards and prod the ball past the goalkeeper. He then provided a superb assist with another driving run and accurate far post cross converted by Suso for the equaliser in the 2-1 semi-final defeat of Manchester United. In the final win over Inter Milan, it was noticeable that this 23-year-old, who everybody knew was probably playing his last game for the club, was the one rallying his team-mates during breaks in play as they came from a goal down to score a late winner.

“I’ve had people ask me if he was at the level of Man United — and of course he was, he played for a team which beat United, and has played for Real Madrid,” Gibson says. “At Sevilla, he played a huge part of the team’s structure, in terms of both full-backs pushing on and attacking. They had a really successful season — fourth place in La Liga and winning the Europa League.”

Around that time, it was also becoming clear that the Premier League would be Reguilon’s next destination, especially after it became known he had switched agent to London-based Pini Zahavi.
Sources told The Athletic that Reguilon himself believed his own game was well suited to the English game, and that there was some initial contact with all of Chelsea, Manchester United, Everton and Tottenham. It was also clear that, given his increased profile, he was likely to be able to secure a more lucrative contract in England than Sevilla or any other La Liga side (even parent club Madrid) were likely to offer.

Another career landmark came this month with a first Spain cap against Ukraine in the Nations League, in the familiar surrounds of Madrid’s Valdebebas training ground.

He marked the occasion with a first international assist in a 4-0 win, but a painful ankle injury which saw him hobble off in added time at first appeared to imperil his chances of a move this summer. Tests showed it was just a sprain, and he has been back at Valdebebas keeping up his fitness over the last 10 days, but without working directly with Zidane’s first team. Nobody expected any different.

Reguilon has handled the different steps up so far in his career quite well — from taking his chance in the first team at Real Madrid, immediately finding his feet at Sevilla, to making the jump to the Spain national team.

He was very small and slight as a youngster — which probably hampered his progression at youth level — and even now stands just 5ft 10in, but he is wiry and not easily pushed about. In 155 club games over his career to date he has been booked 40 times, including 10 in 38 at Sevilla last season. That suggests he has the sort of edge Mourinho tends to like his teams to show, agrees Gibson, who won the 1988 FA Cup as a member of Wimbledon’s Crazy Gang.

“He can be quite nasty, when he wants to — or maybe better to say competitive,” he says. “He can be whatever Mourinho wants him to be. He is aggressive, he puts his foot in. He is more than happy to mix it. That was one of the first things that attracted you to him, when he was at Real Madrid. He settled in nicely when he had a manager who believed in him and trusted him. He showed his determination, which is what you want to see from a young player, especially a defender whose job it is to stifle opponents. He definitely was not shy in doing that.”
The attacking ability which Reguilon showed, especially at Sevilla, could offer another tactical option to Mourinho, especially if he wishes to use three central defenders and field another summer signing, Matt Doherty, as the right wing-back.

Asked what areas of the Spaniard’s game could be improved, Gibson says there are no major weaknesses, although his decision-making and passing in attacking areas can develop further.
“Maybe his passing, when he gets into the final third, could be improved — instead of crossing he could pass it inside — but I would not say it is a major weakness,” he says. “He is relatively young, and he just has some little things he can improve on, the same as any 23-year-old, to keep improving on the fundamentals and the instincts he has built up already. Spurs are getting a very good left-back.”
Back around Valdebebas, there is zero surprise at the departure being completed, as Marcelo and Mendy were always going to remain above him in this season’s pecking order.

The incoming fee will come in very useful, given how Madrid’s finances have been hit by the COVID pandemic. The insistence on a buy-back clause fits with a long-standing club policy which has seen former Castilla youngsters Carvajal, Lucas Vazquez and Alvaro Morata all return over recent seasons, but is only likely to be exercised if a different first-team coach is in charge.

Zidane’s preference for Mendy has, however hardly been a mistake, given how the former Lyon man contributed significantly to the late push which saw Madrid win the 2019-20 La Liga title.
“It’s hard to be critical as Mendy has done well, and looks to be a good left-back too and the ideal replacement long term for Marcelo,” Gibson says. “It was best for Reguilon to go out on loan, and it has worked out well for him. Winning the Europa League was a great step. It worked out well for Madrid too, as now they are getting some money back for him. So I guess it’s one of those moves where everybody is happy.”
 
When The Athletic broke the news on Tuesday that Tottenham Hotspur were in talks with Real Madrid to sign both Gareth Bale and Sergio Reguilon, it was understandable that most Spurs fans were a tad more excited about the potential return of their former superstar goalscorer than the arrival of a far less high profile left-back.

Bale was a phenomenon during his first spell as a Tottenham player for sure, but it is arguable that at this stage of their respective careers Reguilon is more likely to make a bigger splash in the Premier League for them over the next few years.

Spurs are getting a player who, over the last two seasons, has developed from a bit-part reserve at Real into a Europa League winner on loan at Sevilla last season and likely the first choice left-back for Spain at next summer’s European Championship.
The diminutive but combative full-back brings plenty of the bite that Jose Mourinho has claimed is missing from his side, while also offering tactical flexibility either on the left of an orthodox back four, or pushed forward to wing-back.

The question remains, though, why the Spanish champions had seemed as keen to move Reguilon on as the 23-year-old was to get away from the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Coach Zinedine Zidane has never been a fan, and three times now has turned down the chance to have him in his squad.

Madrid-born Reguilon was also clear in his ambition to move to a big club, preferably in England, and keep his career moving forward.

The pair’s lack of personal feeling could well turn out to have helped Tottenham pull off a real transfer coup with a signing from Real Madrid, no matter what happens in the still-ongoing talks over Bale’s future.

The ‘open’ 15 minutes at the start of Real Madrid training sessions are usually quiet as the players know the media are watching, but those reporters dozing on the press balcony at the Valdebebas complex one sunny morning in October 2018 were quickly woken up.

During a routine warm-up exercise, Reguilon raised the temperature by challenging Sergio Ramos with an elbow flying. Cameras captured the club captain then angrily booting a ball directly at his young team-mate, and coaches had to stop everything and persuade Ramos to calm down. It was a marked moment for a 21-year-old who had still not made his La Liga debut.

When Santi Solari replaced Julen Lopetegui as first-team coach soon afterwards, following a 5-1 Clasico defeat at Barcelona, Reguilon immediately had his chance as the pair knew each other very well from Solari’s time coaching the club’s Castilla youth team.

He began to start regularly ahead of previous first choice Marcelo, whose form and fitness had slumped. Fans and pundits were impressed by the local lad’s mix of grit and determination — especially when it was contrasted with the apparent poor attitude of many of the team’s superstars. By the January, he was established as first choice — and provided a couple of handy assists for Casemiro and Karim Benzema in victories over Sevilla and Alaves as, for a while at least, it looked like the team had turned a corner.

That collective improvement proved to be illusory, but Reguilon was again one of the few to emerge with his reputation intact from the dispiriting defeats to Barcelona in Copa del Rey and La Liga, and then disaster at home to Ajax in the Champions League’s last 16.
He was maybe at fault as his man Ousmane Dembele set up one of the goals in the cup Clasico, but also showed character and fighting spirit when other team-mates had given up, and almost found the net himself in both games against the Catalans.

A number of clashes with Lionel Messi riled the Barcelona talisman, but were enjoyed by Madrid fans. TV cameras caught him saying “What’s itching you, flea?” to the Argentinian during one verbal exchange, while he also called Barcelona striker Luis Suarez, he of the prominent front teeth, a “rabbit”. There was a similar refusal to lie down and accept what was happening to his team during the Ajax debacle, when he again fought against the tide with an assist for Marco Asensio’s only goal for the club in that 4-1 Bernabeu humbling.

Reguilon’s standing with the fans was at its highest, and many at the Bernabeu were now expecting him to join Dani Carvajal as fixtures on either side of the defence for the foreseeable future. Among those impressed was Terry Gibson, the former Tottenham, Manchester United and Wimbledon forward who has watched Reguilon’s emergence in his current role as full-time pundit on La Liga TV.

“He was a tenacious left-back that was good at defending,” Gibson says. “He impressed me a lot. He was a young kid coming into the team, but he was getting stuck in, being aggressive. He settled in nicely when he had a manager in Solari who believed in him and trusted him. I thought they had a player to fill the left-back role at Real Madrid for a long time.”
Solari’s sacking following that Ajax defeat brought Zidane back as coach, and the former galactico immediately restored Marcelo to the side. Reguilon started just two of the remaining 11 games of the season, and Madrid soon spent €55 million (£47 million) to sign Lyon left-back Ferland Mendy, further blocking his path to becoming the team’s first-choice at the position long term.
“It was a bit of a surprise when they went out and spent the money on Ferland Mendy,” Gibson says.

“Nothing seemed to happen, it was just an instant change. He never got an opportunity under Zidane. From what I saw of him, he was a very good full-back — just what Real Madrid were looking for from a defender.”

Gibson is not the only observer surprised by Zidane’s treatment of Reguilon — going back to the former galactico approving a 2015 loan to Logrones when he was managing him for Castilla then sending him back to the same club a year later after succeeding Rafa Benitez with the first team. Sources close to the player have confirmed to The Athletic that the pair’s relationship has not been good for some time, but did not comment on Spanish media stories that Zidane’s son, Luca, had a falling out with Reguilon when they were both kids in Madrid’s academy.

Whatever the reality of the situation, it was clear the relationship was not going to work long term — hence the loan move to Sevilla last summer.

Lopetegui had also not appeared a huge fan of Reguilon during their short time together at Real Madrid, playing him in only one of his 14 games in charge — a Champions League group defeat away to CSKA Moscow. However, Sevilla’s canny sporting director Monchi saw off competition from a raft of other La Liga clubs last summer to get him to the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan, to play under Lopetegui, on loan.

Reguilon immediately became first choice in an all-new defence, with his debut bringing his first La Liga goal, a scrambled effort from close range against Espanyol that owed more to his tenacity than technical ability.

His usefulness in attack soon became apparent, however, as he and Jesus Navas formed La Liga’s most impressive full-back pairing. He provided four assists over the domestic season, and then another goal to beat Valencia 1-0 on the final day — cutting back into the box from the byline and firing into the far corner with his (usually little-used) right foot.

“Attacking was not the strength that I saw first (from him) at Real Madrid,” says Gibson. “That was a different system and he was asked to do different jobs, to concentrate mainly on his defensive duties. At Sevilla, we saw the other side of his game develop, pushing forward and matching Navas on the other flank.
“That was a pleasant surprise — he was more than just tenacious and aggressive, he had another side to him. He had the energy and the fitness levels to get up and down for 90 minutes, and he was pretty good when he got himself into attacking positions. His final ball was good, he scored one or two goals, he created chances and at the same time he still looks as strong as ever defensively.”

Reguilon again impressed during the Europa League’s final stages in August. He scored against Roma in the last 16, taking advantage of a weak defence to run 40 yards and prod the ball past the goalkeeper. He then provided a superb assist with another driving run and accurate far post cross converted by Suso for the equaliser in the 2-1 semi-final defeat of Manchester United. In the final win over Inter Milan, it was noticeable that this 23-year-old, who everybody knew was probably playing his last game for the club, was the one rallying his team-mates during breaks in play as they came from a goal down to score a late winner.

“I’ve had people ask me if he was at the level of Man United — and of course he was, he played for a team which beat United, and has played for Real Madrid,” Gibson says. “At Sevilla, he played a huge part of the team’s structure, in terms of both full-backs pushing on and attacking. They had a really successful season — fourth place in La Liga and winning the Europa League.”

Around that time, it was also becoming clear that the Premier League would be Reguilon’s next destination, especially after it became known he had switched agent to London-based Pini Zahavi.
Sources told The Athletic that Reguilon himself believed his own game was well suited to the English game, and that there was some initial contact with all of Chelsea, Manchester United, Everton and Tottenham. It was also clear that, given his increased profile, he was likely to be able to secure a more lucrative contract in England than Sevilla or any other La Liga side (even parent club Madrid) were likely to offer.

Another career landmark came this month with a first Spain cap against Ukraine in the Nations League, in the familiar surrounds of Madrid’s Valdebebas training ground.

He marked the occasion with a first international assist in a 4-0 win, but a painful ankle injury which saw him hobble off in added time at first appeared to imperil his chances of a move this summer. Tests showed it was just a sprain, and he has been back at Valdebebas keeping up his fitness over the last 10 days, but without working directly with Zidane’s first team. Nobody expected any different.

Reguilon has handled the different steps up so far in his career quite well — from taking his chance in the first team at Real Madrid, immediately finding his feet at Sevilla, to making the jump to the Spain national team.

He was very small and slight as a youngster — which probably hampered his progression at youth level — and even now stands just 5ft 10in, but he is wiry and not easily pushed about. In 155 club games over his career to date he has been booked 40 times, including 10 in 38 at Sevilla last season. That suggests he has the sort of edge Mourinho tends to like his teams to show, agrees Gibson, who won the 1988 FA Cup as a member of Wimbledon’s Crazy Gang.

“He can be quite nasty, when he wants to — or maybe better to say competitive,” he says. “He can be whatever Mourinho wants him to be. He is aggressive, he puts his foot in. He is more than happy to mix it. That was one of the first things that attracted you to him, when he was at Real Madrid. He settled in nicely when he had a manager who believed in him and trusted him. He showed his determination, which is what you want to see from a young player, especially a defender whose job it is to stifle opponents. He definitely was not shy in doing that.”
The attacking ability which Reguilon showed, especially at Sevilla, could offer another tactical option to Mourinho, especially if he wishes to use three central defenders and field another summer signing, Matt Doherty, as the right wing-back.

Asked what areas of the Spaniard’s game could be improved, Gibson says there are no major weaknesses, although his decision-making and passing in attacking areas can develop further.
“Maybe his passing, when he gets into the final third, could be improved — instead of crossing he could pass it inside — but I would not say it is a major weakness,” he says. “He is relatively young, and he just has some little things he can improve on, the same as any 23-year-old, to keep improving on the fundamentals and the instincts he has built up already. Spurs are getting a very good left-back.”
Back around Valdebebas, there is zero surprise at the departure being completed, as Marcelo and Mendy were always going to remain above him in this season’s pecking order.

The incoming fee will come in very useful, given how Madrid’s finances have been hit by the COVID pandemic. The insistence on a buy-back clause fits with a long-standing club policy which has seen former Castilla youngsters Carvajal, Lucas Vazquez and Alvaro Morata all return over recent seasons, but is only likely to be exercised if a different first-team coach is in charge.

Zidane’s preference for Mendy has, however hardly been a mistake, given how the former Lyon man contributed significantly to the late push which saw Madrid win the 2019-20 La Liga title.
“It’s hard to be critical as Mendy has done well, and looks to be a good left-back too and the ideal replacement long term for Marcelo,” Gibson says. “It was best for Reguilon to go out on loan, and it has worked out well for him. Winning the Europa League was a great step. It worked out well for Madrid too, as now they are getting some money back for him. So I guess it’s one of those moves where everybody is happy.”
Thanks for posting.
Three key points for me:

1) Reguilon is a tenacious defender, as well as good going forward

2) Zidane really has agendas regarding players. Most coaches do, but Zidane seems to take it to an extreme, even when it's hurting the team

3) challenging Ramos with "an elbow flying" suggests Reguilon is pretty fearless, and perhaps a bit loco

:mourfinger:
 
When The Athletic broke the news on Tuesday that Tottenham Hotspur were in talks with Real Madrid to sign both Gareth Bale and Sergio Reguilon, it was understandable that most Spurs fans were a tad more excited about the potential return of their former superstar goalscorer than the arrival of a far less high profile left-back.
Bale was a phenomenon during his first spell as a Tottenham player for sure, but it is arguable that at this stage of their respective careers Reguilon is more likely to make a bigger splash in the Premier League for them over the next few years.
Spurs are getting a player who, over the last two seasons, has developed from a bit-part reserve at Real into a Europa League winner on loan at Sevilla last season and likely the first choice left-back for Spain at next summer’s European Championship.
The diminutive but combative full-back brings plenty of the bite that Jose Mourinho has claimed is missing from his side, while also offering tactical flexibility either on the left of an orthodox back four, or pushed forward to wing-back.
The question remains, though, why the Spanish champions had seemed as keen to move Reguilon on as the 23-year-old was to get away from the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Coach Zinedine Zidane has never been a fan, and three times now has turned down the chance to have him in his squad.
Madrid-born Reguilon was also clear in his ambition to move to a big club, preferably in England, and keep his career moving forward.
The pair’s lack of personal feeling could well turn out to have helped Tottenham pull off a real transfer coup with a signing from Real Madrid, no matter what happens in the still-ongoing talks over Bale’s future.
The ‘open’ 15 minutes at the start of Real Madrid training sessions are usually quiet as the players know the media are watching, but those reporters dozing on the press balcony at the Valdebebas complex one sunny morning in October 2018 were quickly woken up.
During a routine warm-up exercise, Reguilon raised the temperature by challenging Sergio Ramos with an elbow flying. Cameras captured the club captain then angrily booting a ball directly at his young team-mate, and coaches had to stop everything and persuade Ramos to calm down. It was a marked moment for a 21-year-old who had still not made his La Liga debut.
When Santi Solari replaced Julen Lopetegui as first-team coach soon afterwards, following a 5-1 Clasico defeat at Barcelona, Reguilon immediately had his chance as the pair knew each other very well from Solari’s time coaching the club’s Castilla youth team.
He began to start regularly ahead of previous first choice Marcelo, whose form and fitness had slumped. Fans and pundits were impressed by the local lad’s mix of grit and determination — especially when it was contrasted with the apparent poor attitude of many of the team’s superstars. By the January, he was established as first choice — and provided a couple of handy assists for Casemiro and Karim Benzema in victories over Sevilla and Alaves as, for a while at least, it looked like the team had turned a corner.
That collective improvement proved to be illusory, but Reguilon was again one of the few to emerge with his reputation intact from the dispiriting defeats to Barcelona in Copa del Rey and La Liga, and then disaster at home to Ajax in the Champions League’s last 16.
He was maybe at fault as his man Ousmane Dembele set up one of the goals in the cup Clasico, but also showed character and fighting spirit when other team-mates had given up, and almost found the net himself in both games against the Catalans.
A number of clashes with Lionel Messi riled the Barcelona talisman, but were enjoyed by Madrid fans. TV cameras caught him saying “What’s itching you, flea?” to the Argentinian during one verbal exchange, while he also called Barcelona striker Luis Suarez, he of the prominent front teeth, a “rabbit”. There was a similar refusal to lie down and accept what was happening to his team during the Ajax debacle, when he again fought against the tide with an assist for Marco Asensio’s only goal for the club in that 4-1 Bernabeu humbling.
Reguilon’s standing with the fans was at its highest, and many at the Bernabeu were now expecting him to join Dani Carvajal as fixtures on either side of the defence for the foreseeable future. Among those impressed was Terry Gibson, the former Tottenham, Manchester United and Wimbledon forward who has watched Reguilon’s emergence in his current role as full-time pundit on La Liga TV.
“He was a tenacious left-back that was good at defending,” Gibson says. “He impressed me a lot. He was a young kid coming into the team, but he was getting stuck in, being aggressive. He settled in nicely when he had a manager in Solari who believed in him and trusted him. I thought they had a player to fill the left-back role at Real Madrid for a long time.”
Solari’s sacking following that Ajax defeat brought Zidane back as coach, and the former galactico immediately restored Marcelo to the side. Reguilon started just two of the remaining 11 games of the season, and Madrid soon spent €55 million (£47 million) to sign Lyon left-back Ferland Mendy, further blocking his path to becoming the team’s first-choice at the position long term.
“It was a bit of a surprise when they went out and spent the money on Ferland Mendy,” Gibson says. “Nothing seemed to happen, it was just an instant change. He never got an opportunity under Zidane. From what I saw of him, he was a very good full-back — just what Real Madrid were looking for from a defender.”
Gibson is not the only observer surprised by Zidane’s treatment of Reguilon — going back to the former galactico approving a 2015 loan to Logrones when he was managing him for Castilla then sending him back to the same club a year later after succeeding Rafa Benitez with the first team. Sources close to the player have confirmed to The Athletic that the pair’s relationship has not been good for some time, but did not comment on Spanish media stories that Zidane’s son, Luca, had a falling out with Reguilon when they were both kids in Madrid’s academy.
Whatever the reality of the situation, it was clear the relationship was not going to work long term — hence the loan move to Sevilla last summer.
Lopetegui had also not appeared a huge fan of Reguilon during their short time together at Real Madrid, playing him in only one of his 14 games in charge — a Champions League group defeat away to CSKA Moscow. However, Sevilla’s canny sporting director Monchi saw off competition from a raft of other La Liga clubs last summer to get him to the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan, to play under Lopetegui, on loan.
Reguilon immediately became first choice in an all-new defence, with his debut bringing his first La Liga goal, a scrambled effort from close range against Espanyol that owed more to his tenacity than technical ability.
His usefulness in attack soon became apparent, however, as he and Jesus Navas formed La Liga’s most impressive full-back pairing. He provided four assists over the domestic season, and then another goal to beat Valencia 1-0 on the final day — cutting back into the box from the byline and firing into the far corner with his (usually little-used) right foot.
“Attacking was not the strength that I saw first (from him) at Real Madrid,” says Gibson. “That was a different system and he was asked to do different jobs, to concentrate mainly on his defensive duties. At Sevilla, we saw the other side of his game develop, pushing forward and matching Navas on the other flank.
“That was a pleasant surprise — he was more than just tenacious and aggressive, he had another side to him. He had the energy and the fitness levels to get up and down for 90 minutes, and he was pretty good when he got himself into attacking positions. His final ball was good, he scored one or two goals, he created chances and at the same time he still looks as strong as ever defensively.”
Reguilon again impressed during the Europa League’s final stages in August. He scored against Roma in the last 16, taking advantage of a weak defence to run 40 yards and prod the ball past the goalkeeper. He then provided a superb assist with another driving run and accurate far post cross converted by Suso for the equaliser in the 2-1 semi-final defeat of Manchester United. In the final win over Inter Milan, it was noticeable that this 23-year-old, who everybody knew was probably playing his last game for the club, was the one rallying his team-mates during breaks in play as they came from a goal down to score a late winner.
“I’ve had people ask me if he was at the level of Man United — and of course he was, he played for a team which beat United, and has played for Real Madrid,” Gibson says. “At Sevilla, he played a huge part of the team’s structure, in terms of both full-backs pushing on and attacking. They had a really successful season — fourth place in La Liga and winning the Europa League.”
Around that time, it was also becoming clear that the Premier League would be Reguilon’s next destination, especially after it became known he had switched agent to London-based Pini Zahavi.
Sources told The Athletic that Reguilon himself believed his own game was well suited to the English game, and that there was some initial contact with all of Chelsea, Manchester United, Everton and Tottenham. It was also clear that, given his increased profile, he was likely to be able to secure a more lucrative contract in England than Sevilla or any other La Liga side (even parent club Madrid) were likely to offer.
Another career landmark came this month with a first Spain cap against Ukraine in the Nations League, in the familiar surrounds of Madrid’s Valdebebas training ground.
He marked the occasion with a first international assist in a 4-0 win, but a painful ankle injury which saw him hobble off in added time at first appeared to imperil his chances of a move this summer. Tests showed it was just a sprain, and he has been back at Valdebebas keeping up his fitness over the last 10 days, but without working directly with Zidane’s first team. Nobody expected any different.
Reguilon has handled the different steps up so far in his career quite well — from taking his chance in the first team at Real Madrid, immediately finding his feet at Sevilla, to making the jump to the Spain national team.
He was very small and slight as a youngster — which probably hampered his progression at youth level — and even now stands just 5ft 10in, but he is wiry and not easily pushed about. In 155 club games over his career to date he has been booked 40 times, including 10 in 38 at Sevilla last season. That suggests he has the sort of edge Mourinho tends to like his teams to show, agrees Gibson, who won the 1988 FA Cup as a member of Wimbledon’s Crazy Gang.
“He can be quite nasty, when he wants to — or maybe better to say competitive,” he says. “He can be whatever Mourinho wants him to be. He is aggressive, he puts his foot in. He is more than happy to mix it. That was one of the first things that attracted you to him, when he was at Real Madrid. He settled in nicely when he had a manager who believed in him and trusted him. He showed his determination, which is what you want to see from a young player, especially a defender whose job it is to stifle opponents. He definitely was not shy in doing that.”
The attacking ability which Reguilon showed, especially at Sevilla, could offer another tactical option to Mourinho, especially if he wishes to use three central defenders and field another summer signing, Matt Doherty, as the right wing-back. Asked what areas of the Spaniard’s game could be improved, Gibson says there are no major weaknesses, although his decision-making and passing in attacking areas can develop further.
“Maybe his passing, when he gets into the final third, could be improved — instead of crossing he could pass it inside — but I would not say it is a major weakness,” he says. “He is relatively young, and he just has some little things he can improve on, the same as any 23-year-old, to keep improving on the fundamentals and the instincts he has built up already. Spurs are getting a very good left-back.”
Back around Valdebebas, there is zero surprise at the departure being completed, as Marcelo and Mendy were always going to remain above him in this season’s pecking order. The incoming fee will come in very useful, given how Madrid’s finances have been hit by the COVID pandemic. The insistence on a buy-back clause fits with a long-standing club policy which has seen former Castilla youngsters Carvajal, Lucas Vazquez and Alvaro Morata all return over recent seasons, but is only likely to be exercised if a different first-team coach is in charge.
Zidane’s preference for Mendy has, however hardly been a mistake, given how the former Lyon man contributed significantly to the late push which saw Madrid win the 2019-20 La Liga title.
“It’s hard to be critical as Mendy has done well, and looks to be a good left-back too and the ideal replacement long term for Marcelo,” Gibson says. “It was best for Reguilon to go out on loan, and it has worked out well for him. Winning the Europa League was a great step. It worked out well for Madrid too, as now they are getting some money back for him. So I guess it’s one of those moves where everybody is happy.”
 
Thanks for posting.
Three key points for me:

1) Reguilon is a tenacious defender, as well as good going forward

2) Zidane really has agendas regarding players. Most coaches do, but Zidane seems to take it to an extreme, even when it's hurting the team

3) challenging Ramos with "an elbow flying" suggests Reguilon is pretty fearless, and perhaps a bit loco

:mourfinger:
Nice one fella!
 
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