Real Madrid

Federico Valverde in isolation after close contact with positive COVID-19 case

Tom Gott
Fede Valverde is in isolation
Fede Valverde is in isolation / Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Real Madrid have confirmed midfielder Federico Valverde entered a period of isolation on Saturday after being in close contact with someone who later tested positive for COVID-19.

The 22-year-old has been in and out of Real Madrid's midfield this season but was expected to enjoy a run at right-back after injuries to Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez forced him to take up that role in the 0-0 draw with Liverpool.

Federico Valverde
Valverde has spent time as an emergency right-back / Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Real's next game comes against Getafe on Sunday, but the club confirmed on their official website that Valverde will play no part.

Importantly, Valverde himself has tested negative for the virus, but he must remain in isolation until another negative test proves he has not contracted COVID-19.

You might think that manager Zinedine Zidane is facing a right-back injury crisis right now, but that's not the case. The boss will now have no choice but to put his faith in Alvaro Odriozola, who is actually a right-back but is well down the pecking order.

Alvaro Odriozola
Odriozola might finally get a chance / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

The 25-year-old, whose season has been hampered by injuries as well, has not really impressed in his sporadic appearances on the pitch, but he might get the chance to rebuild his reputation now that Zidane literally has no other options.

Alongside Valverde, Carvajal and Vazquez, Real will also be without centre-back duo Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, left-back Ferland Mendy and winger Eden Hazard, all of whom are battling either injury or COVID-19, or in Ramos' case, both.

Nacho Fernandez is also suspended, leaving Zidane with just one senior centre-back, Eder Militao. To address that, the boss is expected to turn to the academy, where 21-year-old Victor Chust is waiting in the wings.

Zinedine Zidane
Zidane has a real defensive dilemma / Michael Regan/Getty Images

Such a depleted defence is hardly ideal for a team challenging for a league title, but fortunately for Real, their upcoming fixtures are relatively kind.

Getafe sit 15th in the standings coming into Sunday's game, while Real will be expected to beat 12th-placed Cadiz when they meet on Wednesday as well.

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