Football News

“He needs time” – Real Madrid legend defends Luka Jovic’s slow start at the Bernabeu

By CJ Smith

Published: 12:43, 15 October 2019

Former Real Madrid defender Michel Salgado has called for fans to give Luka Jovic time after his slow start at the club.

The Serbia international made a £57.7m move to the Bernabeu from Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt over the summer but is yet to score a goal for Zinedine Zidane’s side.

How much has Jovic struggled at Real? Five things to know…

  • Jovic scored 27 goals on loan at Frankfurt from Benfica last season.
  • He then made that loan permanent before immediately moving to Real Madrid in the summer.
  • But Jovic is yet to score in seven games so far for Los Blancos.
  • He has come under scrutiny by many fans and members of the media for his bad form.
  • But Salgado insists Jovic is a “great player” and simply needs time to adjust.

Jovic scored 27 goals during 2018/19 and Salgado – who won four La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues during his playing days with Real – believes this sort of form shows just how much quality the striker really has.

“He’s a young player. If Real Madrid signed him, it’s due to something. He has been a great player for Eintracht Frankfurt, lots of goals, great attacking quality,” Salgado told Omnisport.

“It is known that Real Madrid needed a ‘nine’, a striker. Benzema is a different ‘nine’, a player that collects, combines over finishing.

“Jovic must still learn, he’s a young player and Real Madrid is a team with a lot of pressure. He needs time. He has that time, we know he’s a great striker.”

Los Blancos sit top of La Liga after making an unbeaten start to the season but have struggled once again in the Champions League so far.

As a result, Zidane has come under criticism, especially following Real’s 3-0 humiliation to PSG in September.

But Salgado believes the Frenchman “deserves respect”, insisting fans must remain calm while Zidane puts things right.

“There’s always critics at Real Madrid. A club that depends on victories, a gigantic club, with a lot of pressure” Salgado said. “But I think the last two scores have calmed the team.

“Zidane deserves all our respect, he won three Champions Leagues in a row. Something that no one has achieved in history, now arriving into Madrid in a difficult position from last year.

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“The season just started, and they climb into the first position. We’ve got to let them work. I know Real Madrid, I have been there almost 11 years. I know how it works and it’s important that the manager and the players are calm in a moment like this.

“As I said, being leaders brought calm to the team and the team will grow a lot from now on. Zidane deserves the confidence from us, supporters. I think he’s doing a great job.”