Real Madrid ‘not reliant’ on Vinicius Junior – Santiago Solari

Real Madrid Coach Santiago Solari has downplayed the club’s supposed reliance on the fitness of Brazilian prodigy Vinicius Junior.

The 18-year-old reportedly has flu and is a doubt for the side’s trip to Real Betis on Sunday, with Marco Asensio, Gareth Bale, Marcos Llorente, Thibaut Courtois and Toni Kroos all ruled out.

Vinicius has registered either a goal or assist every 59 minutes since making his first-team debut for Los Blancos in September and has had increasing prominence under Santiago Solari.

“The strength of Real Madrid is always in the group,” Solari told reporters, as cited by ESPN FC.

“All of our players are important. It is true that bringing new players into a squad which has won three Champions Leagues is also part of our job. A kid of 18 has arrived and is doing very well.

“And we have to see if he will recover and make the squad, to be finalised today or maybe tomorrow.

“Injuries? I would not call them unfortunate, they are part of the game. The explanations are always multiple. It is true there are a lot of injuries. We will look at how we can improve that, and look to get them all back as soon as possible, as we need everyone available.

“I have 24 players and would be happy for them all to play more, the least enjoyable part of the job is picking the team. I am nobody to give advice to anyone.

“There are players here with lots of experience and trophies. Players who reach the Primera Division, play here for many years, and have won a lot, they know what they need to do.”

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