La Liga: Arda Guler finally closing in on Real Madrid debut

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Real Madrid midfielder Arda Guler has a chance to make his long-awaited debut for the club when La Liga action gets underway this week after Spanish football’s winter break.

Guler joined Madrid from Fenerbahce in July in a €20m (£17m) deal. But a knee injury prematurely ended his pre-season and further setbacks ensured 2023 ended without the 18-year-old Turkey international playing a single minute for his new club.

Madrid decided not to rush Guler onto the pitch in December, delaying his debut until 2024 at the earliest. But there is now promise of a debut this week when Mallorca visit the capital, with AS reporting that Guler trained “normally” once more on Monday.

Fitness and conditioning are vital for Guler at this stage after months of setbacks, so more uninterrupted training bodes well for the talented youngster. The next opportunity to train will be on Tuesday before the game at the Bernabeu on Wednesday night.

Guler came off the bench in Madrid’s La Liga game against Rayo Vallecano at the start of November, but a tense 0-0 draw was not considered the right circumstances for him to make his debut. He’s held back ever since and now increasingly feels his opportunity will come.

Madrid could also welcome Vinicius Junior back into action against Mallorca. The Brazilian has declared himself fit after a six-week lay-off with a torn hamstring suffered on international duty in South America in November.

“I’m fine, very good. Now all that’s left is for the coach to choose. Now I’m fine and I’m ready to go. What’s left for the season… I’m asking so that we can win many titles in 2024,” is his assessment .

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