Jesus Navas is an ever-present for Sevilla. Even when Aleix Vidal, the back-up right-back, took to the field during yesterday’s draw with Real Betis, it was Lucas Ocampos who was sacrificed as noted by Marca.
Sevilla’s captain always wants to participate and compete, no matter whether he’s in full condition or not. The result of this indefatigable attitude is that Navas has been tired and a notch below his usual self so far this season, hungover from last year’s monumental effort.
Navas was put under pressure defending Betis’ lithe, fleet-footed attacking players, and didn’t contribute to his usual degree in the final third. He’s been suffering with hip discomfort for a while now, and his body is in general suffering from a lack of rest over the summer and the absence of a proper pre-season.
He missed three games at the beginning of December after Sevilla lost to Real Madrid, and has found it tough since his return. He struggled with Aitor Ruibal on Saturday, but is such a competitor that he wants to right his wrongs on the field of play rather than admitting defeat and retreating to the bench.
Vidal is waiting in the wings, and Julen Lopetegui has a choice to make in the coming weeks as Sevilla compete in the Copa del Rey, the Champions League and La Liga. Navas is only human, no matter what evidence to the contrary, and a little bit of rotation could do him good.