Luka Jovic

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La Liga wrap: Benzema stars, Real Madrid routs Leganes

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Real Madrid answered the performance of title rivals Barcelona by climbing back into second place via a five-star performance at the Bernabeu, while Athletic Bilbao also posted a comfortable win and Nabil Fekir played last-minute hero for Real Betis.

All of the above is in La Liga’s wrap-up of action from Wednesday.

Valencia 1-1 Sevilla

Ruben Subrino’s goal in the 81st minute sent the home crowd home a bit happier than it would’ve been had Lucas Ocampos’ late first half goal been the only marker, but a drab match will have both sides well aware of what it left on, or off of, the table.

Real Madrid 5-0 Leganes

Zinedine Zidane’s men got the feel-good, straight-forward win it wanted when Rodrygo and Toni Kroos scored a minute apart to make it 2-0 within eight minutes of kickoff, and Luka Jovic scored his first Real goal in stoppage time to hopefully signal a return to the form the left at Eintracht Frankfurt.

Karim Benzema had a goal and two assists for Madrid, who also got one from a Sergio Ramos penalty in their move back into second place.

Athletic Bilbao 3-0 Espanyol

Iker Munian is not having the career many expected, but he was the man on Wednesday. Munian scored his second and third goals of the season as the Basque side denied its Catalan visitors the chance to climb out of the drop zone.

Real Sociedad 1-2 Levante

Goals from Enis Bardhi and Borja Mayoral held up to boost the hosts into sixth.

Real Betis 2-1 Celta Vigo

Nabil Fekir scored in the 90th minute as Real Betis overcame a blown lead to claim all three points for what, at least for the moment, was a relegation six-pointer.

Standings

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Barcelona 10 7 1 2 28 11 17 5-0-0 2-1-2 22
 Real Madrid 10 6 3 1 21 9 12 4-1-0 2-2-1 21
 Granada 10 6 2 2 17 10 7 4-0-1 2-2-1 20
 Atlético Madrid 11 5 5 1 11 6 5 3-3-0 2-2-1 20
 Sevilla 11 6 2 3 14 12 2 3-1-1 3-1-2 20
 Real Sociedad 11 6 1 4 18 12 6 3-0-2 3-1-2 19
 Villarreal 10 5 2 3 24 14 10 3-2-0 2-0-3 17
 Athletic Club 11 4 4 3 11 7 4 4-1-1 0-3-2 16
 Osasuna 10 3 5 2 10 9 1 2-3-0 1-2-2 14
 Levante 11 4 2 5 12 13 -1 2-2-1 2-0-4 14
 València 11 3 5 3 15 17 -2 2-4-0 1-1-3 14
 Valladolid 11 3 5 3 11 14 -3 1-3-0 2-2-3 14
 Getafe 10 3 4 3 14 14 0 2-2-1 1-2-2 13
 Alavés 11 3 3 5 9 14 -5 3-2-1 0-1-4 12
 Betis 11 3 3 5 14 21 -7 3-2-1 0-1-4 12
 Mallorca 10 3 1 6 7 13 -6 3-1-2 0-0-4 10
 Eibar 10 2 3 5 10 15 -5 2-0-2 0-3-3 9
 Celta Vigo 11 2 3 6 6 14 -8 2-1-3 0-2-3 9
 Espanyol 11 2 2 7 5 18 -13 0-0-5 2-2-2 8
 Leganés 11 1 2 8 5 19 -14 1-1-4 0-1-4 5

Real Madrid dealing with growing injury list ahead of new season

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If this season is meant to be a revival for Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane has his work cut out for him as the campaign nears a triumphant beginning.

After a third-place finish in La Liga last season plus elimination in the Champions League Round of 16, Real Madrid has spent big this summer looking to refresh the squad with young and prime talent. Yet things have not gone entirely to plan.

New signing Luka Jovic was withdrawn in the 28th minute of Real Madrid’s somewhat embarrassing 7-3 preseason defeat to rivals Atletico Madrid, and while the club would not elaborate on any potential injury, he looked in pain as he was taken off the field after colliding with Atleti goalkeeper Jan Oblak, appearing to have an ankle issue.

A potential problem for Jovic would make the 21-year-old the fourth player injured this preseason tour. The most serious of the medical issues befell Marco Asensio, who tore his ACL against Arsenal on Tuesday just minutes after scoring a wonderful goal. His injury has caused a trickle-down effect as the club looks to prepare for a lengthy absence, seeing the club reportedly about-face on the sale of James Rodriguez, instead wishing for the Columbian to stay and help replace Asensio.

Brahim Diaz was also injured in an International Champions Cup match against Bayern Munich, although he is reportedly expected to recover in time for Real Madrid’s first league match against Celta Vigo on August 18. Ferland Mendy, another new signing, was not so lucky as he went down with a thigh injury in the Arsenal game and is likely to miss the start of the campaign.

While none of these injuries directly affects the starting lineup aside from Asensio’s gut-wrenching fate (the glittering 23-year-old was finally ready to make the leap as a regular starter, having failed to reach 2,000 league minutes in each of his first three seasons with the club), it poses a problem for Zidane who built his previous success at the club on squad rotation and keeping players fresh. Jovic was brought in as a challenge for Karim Benzema, while Mendy represents direct competition for Marcelo who struggled at times last season but could only be spelled by the since-departed Sergio Regulion. Clearly, as the James Rodriguez situation shows, the injuries have already affected transfer strategy and therefore has a direct impact on squad makeup.

Zidane overcame plenty of bouts with adversity in his three Champions League winning seasons last time he led Los Blancos, so there is plenty of reason to believe he can work around these blips, but the club can ill-afford any more trips to the trainer’s office as the season nears its opening.

Real Madrid signs young Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic

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La Liga giants Real Madrid started what is expected to be a busy summer transfer window with the confirmed signing of 21-year-old Eintracht Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic.

The club confirmed it has signed Jovic to a five-year contract pending a physical. While the terms of the deal were not included in the brief release, it is widely reported that Jovic cost Real Madrid in the vicinity of $67.5 million.

“Luka Jovic is a big loss for us,” said Frankfurt sporting director Fredi Bobic who also confirmed the deal. “His explosiveness and scoring skills have been showcased throughout Europe and we’ve benefited from his goals and contributions over the past two years. But for us it was clear that there was a financial threshold. For Eintracht Frankfurt this is a good and important transfer. We wish Luka only the best for his future. He has the best qualifications for a great career, and we are proud that we were able to support him along the way.”

The Serbian youngster, who owns four international caps to his name, scored 27 goals in 48 appearances across all competitions for Frankfurt last year, including 17 league goals in 32 games plus another 10 in 14 Europa League matches. He announced his presence with a massive five-goal game against Fortuna Dusseldorf in mid-October and was a force in European play as Eintracht Frankfurt reached the semifinals of the competition before falling to eventual winners Chelsea on penalties.

Jovic began his career in the youth system of Red Star Belgrade in his native Serbia and made his way to the senior squad where he spent two years where he made 48 appearances as a teenager. He was sold to Benfica in the winter of 2016 in controversial fashion – Football Leaks exposed dirty third-party dealings involving Cypriot side Apollon Limassol – for a deal of around $8 million.

He then found himself on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt on a two-year loan with the German club who made the move officially permanent this summer by activating an $8 million clause. That allowed Eintracht to enjoy the financial windfall of a massive deal to Real Madrid.

The Real Madrid summer is expected to be a busy one, with Zinedine Zidane leading a rebuild that is also targeting the likes of Eden Hazard and Eder Militao.

Jovic could see himself in Premier League, Serie A

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Maybe Luka Jovic’s presumed move to Real Madrid won’t happen this summer.

Or at all.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

The Eintracht Frankfurt striker has been tipped for a move away from the Bundesliga after another strong campaign, and taking the center forward reins from Karim Benzema at Real Madrid.

Several outlets reported the deal as done, but Jovic isn’t speaking that way (or at least the Serbian is throwing us off the scent.

From Goal.com:

“In terms of the physique, the Bundesliga is very demanding, but after the games against Chelsea or Inter Milan, I personally had the feeling that I could feel even better [playing] in the Premier League or Serie A. … The way the teams play there suits me better.”

Jovic scored 27 times in 48 appearances for Frankfurt, adding seven assists at the tender age of 21. Ten of those came in the Europa League, and we’re not talking about flooding the nets of minnows; Jovic scored against Chelsea (twice), Marseille (three), Lazio (two), and Inter Milan (once).

Report: Real Madrid seals $67M Jovic signing

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There was fire to go with the smoke: Luka Jovic is headed to Real Madrid.

Eintracht Frankfurt’s superstar Serbian striker is heading west to help Zinedine Zidane rebuild Real in a move worth $67 million according to Sky Sports.

[ MORE: Derby County reaches playoff final ]

Around $13 million of that will go to Benfica, who loaned and then sold Jovic to the German outfit.

Jovic scored 27 times in 47 appearances for Frankfurt, adding seven assists. His 17 Bundesliga goal sare third this season, five behind Golden Boot leader Robert Lewandowski.

If you haven’t seen much of Jovic, be prepared for him to become a bigger part of the soccer consciousness. With Eden Hazard (allegedly) among those providing service and Zidane guiding the striker, he could become the next household name.

He’s that talented.