sport news PETE JENSON: 'Generation Jude' has begun at Real Madrid with the England star ... trends now
The club’s failure to sign him left them relying on Vinicius Jr and the Brazilian striker, who had previously managed just three league goals in his first two senior seasons, stunned everyone scoring 17 in one campaign.
Despite that, had Mbappe arrived in 2022 he would still have come in as the club’s new most important player. Again his signing was frustrated.
This summer he would still have been the top of the bill signing although Jude Bellingham’s arrival would have taken some of the limelight away.
Now, if he comes in 2024 he will sign as a new recruit to ‘Generation Jude’. He’ll be a fabulous addition but he will not be the main man because Bellingham and his pals have made the Madrid team theirs and Mbappe will have to fit in as opposed to expecting everything to mould itself around him.
Jude Bellingham is leading Real Madrid's next generation after making a flying start to life at the Bernabeu
Vinicius Jr has now signed a new deal at Real Madrid to secure his long-term future in Spain
Kylian Mbappe was previously seen as the signing that would save the club, but that is no longer the case
Vinicius signed a new contract this week extending his stay at the club until 2027. His association with Bellingham has grown and grown through mimicking his celebration to setting him up for his third Champions League goal in three games, away at Braga last week.
After that 17-goal haul in the domestic competition two years ago, Vinicius scored 23 in all competitions last season, with 20 assists added. He now has more Champions League assists than Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.
Off the pitch he has become an icon of the ongoing battle against racism and Madrid’s most recognisable global star. And on €10m (£8.7m) net now, he is, along with Bellingham, set to be the club’s top earner over the next three years.
Two years ago it was a given that he would have to vacate his berth on the left of Real Madrid’s attack to accommodate Mbappe, now that is no longer necessarily the case.
It’s true the Frenchman has won a World Cup but Vinicius can point to having scored the winning goal in a Champions League final and it would be for the coach to work-out how best to line-up both.
Rodrgyo will be the next player renewed, for less than Vinicius, although most probably for one extra year until 2028. And behind Madrid’s twin turbines is a Fab Four of midfielders (Bellingham, Eduardo Camavinga, Fede Valverde and Aurelien Tchouameni) which look set to reign for years.
Madrid have some hugely promising young players coming through including Eduardo Camavinga (left) and Aurelien Tchouameni (right)
Fede Valverde makes up the quartet that looks set to flourish at Madrid for years to come
Bellingham posted a mock-up ‘Abbey