Real Madrid playmaker Isco hasn’t started a single game under new manager Santiago Solari as he is still out of shape following his recent surgery, according to teammate Dani Ceballos.
The Spain international went under the knife after coming down with appendicitis but was quickly recalled by former head coach Julen Lopetegui, starting in the club’s 5-1 defeat to Barcelona last month.
Since Solari took over at the Santiago Bernabéu, however, Isco has made just two substitute appearances, racking up just over 50 minutes of game time across La Liga and the Champions League.
“He is a player who came from a major injury and went through surgery,” Ceballos explained to El Chiringuito (via AS). “With Julen, he played two consecutive games and with Solari, he said he saw him a bit out of shape, but he is training 100 per cent.
“He knows the importance of managing a dressing room and has the philosophy of Madrid’s values.”
Isco has claimed just one assist since returning from appendicitis and has so far been unable to replicate his form from the start of the season, where Real Madrid registered four wins from their opening five games.
Ceballos, meanwhile, has benefited from Isco’s absence and has featured in all but three of Madrid’s league games this season. The 22-year-old has also made three appearances in the Champions League.
Los Blancos are currently well off the pace in La Liga, sitting in sixth place behind the likes of Sevilla, Espanyol and even Deportivo Alavés.
However, Real Madrid are currently on an impressive four-game winning run under new manager Solari and have already closed the gap on league leaders Barcelona to just four points.