This season hasn’t exactly gone to plan for Zinedine Zidane and his Real Madrid side.
Los Blancos are unlikely to retain their La Liga crown and they’ve looked far from convincing in the Champions League. A lack of goals hasn’t helped their cause, with misfiring frontman Luka Jovic shipped out on loan and Eden Hazard failing to adequality support Karim Benzema.
Zidane’s quest for attacking reinforcements has seen him turn to Spain Under-21 striker Hugo Duro. The 21-year-old was recently handed his senior debut for the club having been promoted from the reserve team, but who is this youngster who’s suddenly emerged as a regular in the first-team setup?
Here’s everything you need to know about him.
You didn’t expect to kick off with that now, did you?
Clearly one of those annoying kids from school who is clever and good at sport, Duro is studying mechanical engineering at Carlos III University in Madrid.
With Zidane struggling for attacking options ahead of Real’s clash with Inter last November, Duro trained with the first team and travelled with them to Italy for the game. He was named as an unused substitute on the night, and had to attend an exam the very next day!
Duro took many people by surprise when he opted to leave boyhood club Getafe on loan for Real Madrid Castilla.
Clearly passionate about his club, the youngster burst into tears back in 2019 when Getafe sealed qualification to the Europa League, which makes his move away seem all the more puzzling.
A move to Real Madrid would make perfect sense, but a move to their reserve team? Nevertheless, he clearly backed himself to make an impression and force his way into the senior side, and he’s done just that.
Speaking of making an impression with the reserve side, it’s clear to see why the youngster caught Zidane’s eye.
In Duro’s 12 outings for Real Madrid Castilla in Segunda Division B this season, he’s only failed to score on four occasions.
Noted for his finishing ability, the 21-year-old is a versatile forward who can play anywhere across the frontline, while his linkup play and ability to find space in the area has also been lauded.
If Duro swapping his boyhood club for the Real Madrid reserve team sounded weird, then this tops it.
Like every other club in world football, Real Madrid have been forced to tighten the purse strings a little following the coronavirus outbreak. Because of this, the incomings at Santiago Bernabeu have hardly been what we’ve become used to at Real, but a player who scored one goal in 32 senior outings?
The youngster averaged nearly a goal every other game during his time with the Getafe reserve team, but senior football is a whole new ball game.
Just four days after being handed his senior debut for Real Madrid in La Liga, the 21-year-old was handed his European debut against Atalanta.
With the Serie A side down to ten men and the scores locked at 0-0, Zidane turned to the young striker in his hour of need – and it worked. Well, kinda.
Los Blancos grabbed a late winner thanks to Ferland Mendy’s 86th minute strike, but we’re going to give Duro some credit just for being on the pitch.
The striker will be desperate to make an impression on Zidane in the Real Madrid first team over the coming months.
His move from Getafe is only a loan move for now, however, Los Blancos do have the option to make the move permanent if they decide they want to keep the youngster.
It’s unclear what the set price for Duro is, but if he can transfer his goals with the reserve side to the senior team then he’ll almost certainly be staying put in Madrid.