His performance against Granada last weekend proved that he can play an important role in the heart of Real Madrid’s engine room. He’s a wild card Carlo Ancelotti can play when resting Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, something that could happen later today.
Madrid are going to La Ceramica to play Villarreal in a crucial tie. Sevilla beat Elche last night to move within three points of the league leaders, but Madrid’s heads might not be completely in Vila-real. It’s likely that they’ll be in France, given they’re taking on Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday.
That’s where Valverde can be pivotal. It’s tough for him to break into one of the best midfielder threes in European football, but he’s shown he can offer something different. His goal against Barcelona in the Supercopa de Espana remains his only one from this season, but that’s something he could change today.