Carlo Ancelotti has explained his decision to bring Isco off during Real Madrid’s draw with Levante.
Isco started at Cuitat de Valencia following an injury to Luka Modric in the week leading up to the game.
And to the surprise of many, the Spaniard was one of Real Madrid’s better players, putting in an excellent first-half performance having struggled of late for Los Blancos.
The decision was criticised by some given how well Isco was playing, but Ancelotti says it wasn’t personal and that he is simply keen to use his squad to keep things fresh.
“The starting lineup that starts the game is never going to finish it,” he said in his post-match press conference.
“I want to use the five substitutes because I can put fresher people on.
“Asensio has done very well for me. Isco, Gareth and Hazard have had a good game.”
Isco has been linked with an exit from Real Madrid this summer amid intense competition in the middle of the park at the Santiago Bernabeu.
But his latest performance could change perspectives, particularly with Martin Odegaard being allowed to leave this summer and the ageing presence of likely starters Modric and Toni Kroos.