Jese Rodriguez is “f***** up” over his lack of playing time at Real Madrid, according to former team-mate Enrique Castano, who blames Rafael Benitez for the 22-year-old’s situation at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The Spanish forward has not been seen in Madrid’s team since the opening Liga game of the season, when he started in place of the injured Karim Benzema for the stuttering 0-0 draw against Sporting Gijon.
And now Merida midfielder Castano – a close friend of Jese’s having played alongside him during his days as a Madrid youth-team player – has hit out at Benitez, insisting he cannot understand why he is not playing the former Spain U-21 international.
“Jese is f***** up, really, over his lack of playing time at Madrid,” he told Goal. “It is normal. All players who don’t play and are able to do so get annoyed at this.
“It’s true that he worked hard during pre-season. For many days we were training together. I don’t understand his disappearance from the team after a good pre-season.
“He was one of the best in the summer, he scored lots of goals. Now I do not understand what’s going on: how could he be the first choice after Benzema and now he is not even an option?
“I think something must have happened, but I don’t know what. I know he’s training well.”
Castano believes Jese has the potential to be as good as Madrid team-mate Gareth Bale and is convinced he will silence his critics at the Bernabeu.
“I 100 per cent agree with Madrid Castilla coach Alberto Toril that he can be as good as Bale,” he added. “Alberto is a coach who has trained him for many years and knows his potential. And I have seen him for many years and I know his ability.
“The situation he is experiencing is not fair for him, but I know he will not back down and will continue training hard when given the opportunity.
“And certainly when the chance to play comes he will do well, he will score goals. When he has minutes, he will shut up those who have been criticising him.”