Marca reports Illarra, who is said to have turned down Athletic Bilbao in January, has the confidence of Rafa Benitez, who believes the former Real Sociedad player has been a victim of bad luck in his two seasons at Santiago Bernabeu.
It’s said that Illarra has many of the qualities Benitez likes from a central midfielder and a comparison is drawn with Xabi Alonso, who began playing under Benitez at 22 and spent five years with the trainer at Anfield.
Benitez will reportedly offer Illarra more minutes as he tries not to overburden Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, and Lucas Silva could leave with Casemiro ahead of him in the Coach’s plans.
This is a strange one to me as Illarramendi is only 25 and with Modric and Kroos ahead of him, his playing time is going to be really limited this season. Why not go out on loan for a season, play every week, and then comeback and compete for a starting job?