Arda Guler finally closing in on Real Madrid debut

  • Arda Guler joined Real Madrid for €20m in July
  • Turkish teenager suffered pre-season injury
  • Setbacks & caution have delayed his debut until now

Arda Guler is yet to play for Real Madrid
Arda Guler is yet to play for Real Madrid / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Real Madrid midfielder Arda Guler has a chance of making his long-awaited debut for the club when La Liga action resumes this week following Spanish football’s winter break.

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

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

Fitness and conditioning is vital for Guler at this stage after months of setbacks, so more uninterrupted training is a good sign for the talented youngster. There will be another opportunity to train again on Tuesday before the game at the Bernabeu on Wednesday evening.

Arda Guler
Arda Guler doesn't turn 19 until February / Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/GettyImages

Guler made the bench for Madrid's La Liga game against Rayo Vallecano in early November, but the tense 0-0 draw wasn't deemed the right circumstances for him to make his debut. He has been held back ever since and now there is a growing feeling his opportunity will come.

Madrid could also welcome Vinicius Junior back to action against Mallorca. The Brazilian has declared himself fit following a six-week layoff with a torn thigh muscle that he suffered while on international duty in South America back in November.

"I'm fine, very good. Now all that's left is for the coach to choose. I'm fine now and ready to go. What remains of the season... I ask that in 2024 we can win many titles," is his assessment.