Real Madrid's first 11 games this season - Celta to Mallorca

Scored: 18
Conceded: 14

Real Madrid's five games since Mallorca -

Scored: 16
Conceded: 0

Fede Valverde -

286 mins played during Celta - Mallorca
316 mins played in the last five games

Coincidence? I think not.
It's pretty obvious that Zidane has now worked out the balance of the squad, it's taken him a while, but although he went with James in the opening period, his choice of Fede has proven to be a masterstroke.
Not only does the Uruguayan provide the balance, but his energy around the pitch allows Casemiro and Kroos to excel at their respective roles too.

Casemiro is making less reckless tackles, why? Because he no longer needs to. And Kroos is playing higher up the pitch.
When Kroos plays higher up the pitch, Fede and Casemiro sit deeper, allowing the German to get involved in the build-up and chance creation. This has been particularly obvious since the Mallorca defeat, Kroos is combining with Benzema and Hazard extremely well.
Having Fede means Kroos does less leg work, most of Kroos' participation in matches is in and around the opposition's box, and that gives Madrid a huge advantage when breaking down defences. Kroos already has four goals and two assists, and he'll end with 15-20 G+A in my opinion.
Fede's growth and adaptation into Zidane's system will allow Kroos and Modric to remain fit, deep into the season

It's an absolute masterstroke from Zidane, and it's something he isn't getting enough praise for. This is the system you were crying out for

Fede - Casemiro - Kroos
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