Former Real Madrid striker Carlos Santillana says it is not easy for the club to give youngsters the chance to prove their worth, as high-profile signings are a key part of maintaining their image.
The reigning Liga champions have recently been criticised for their tendency to play new purchases over youth players, but Santillana feels things are not as easy as people make them out to be.
"Football has changed. There are massive signings, they cost a lot of money and they have to pay for themselves; but it's not easy," the former Blancos star told Marca.
"Madrid have to support the youngsters, but they also need players who sell an image of prestige, which is very important for the club.
"That's why they need to strike a balance between the two, so that young players have a chance of debuting with the first team."
Iker Casillas and Alvaro Arbeloa are the only two regular starters at the Santiago Bernabeu who came through the club's youth academy.