The Uruguayan should have delivered a performance that made Carlo Ancelotti question whether he deserves to start for Madrid.
But he didn’t, and the truth is that Eduardo Camavinga has leapfrogged him in the pecking order outside of the sacred three.
Valverde has struggled to get up to speed since spraining his left knee at the end of October and made little impact in the 72 minutes he was given according to a report by Diario AS.
He recovered five balls, completed 38 passes and misplaced five, losing the ball eight times. Camavinga made eleven recoveries, completed 51 passes, misplaced three and lost seven balls.
Valverde started the first ten games of the season due to Toni Kroos’ injury, but his own injury has prevented him from competing for the kind of game-time that he would like.
But he’s still getting chances. He’s started four of Madrid’s last seven games and came on as a substitute in the three he didn’t start, even scoring the winning goal in the Supercopa de Espana. He just needs to take that final step.