Former Real Madrid sporting director Jorge Valdano has joined a growing chorus of those saying the sale of Xabi Alonso and Angel di Maria was a mistake.
The midfield duo were sold at the end of the transfer window to Bayern Munich and Manchester United respectively. Club president Florentino Perez allowed the pair to leave following the arrivals of Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez.
Los Blancos started the league season with an unconvincing win over La Liga newcomers Cordorba before being soundly beaten by Real Sociedad, going down 4-2 in San Sebastian on Sunday. They European Super Cup in August, they were also beaten by Atletico in the Spanish Supercopa.
And Valdano said the slow start to the season overall was due to the side missing the inconsistency of di Maria and Alonso.
Speaking to Cadena Ser, the former Los Blancos player and manager said: Xabi Alonso was a much-needed player at Real Madrid due to his positioning and sacrifice. He is a very intelligent player and gives the feeling that he handles the rest of the team like a herd.
“Xabi Alonso and Di Maria represented consistency, the thinking of the collective – one through his intelligence and one through his intensity.”