Marco Asensio says he was never given the option to assume No. 7 in the Real Madrid squad after it was vacated by Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer.
“They didn’t offer me the No. 7,” he told reporters after scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win over Espanyol on Saturday night. “The club never said anything to me about it and I didn’t have the chance to decide.”
The 22-year-old, who wears the No. 20 shirt, is assuming more responsibility this season under Julen Lopetegui following Ronaldo’s move to Juventus. The No. 7 was subsequently taken by new signing Mariano Diaz.
Asked if he liked the No. 10 as an alternative, Asensio said it already has a good owner in Luka Modric.
“It’s a number I always liked,” he said. “But now it’s in good hands. In the future I would like it.”
Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos said recently that it was time to give Asensio more responsibility, in order for him to develop and show his importance to the club, by using a metaphor about putting more stones into his teammate’s backpack.
“Give me all the stones you want,” Asensio said when that was put to him. “That’s what I’m here for.”