Arda Guler Real Madrid GFXGOAL

Arda Guler is too good to warm the bench: Real Madrid must find a way to fit their 'Turkish Messi' into Kylian Mbappe-led attack next season

"He is becoming a great player before our eyes," former Turkey and Barcelona winger Arda Turan told AS when quizzed on Arda Guler's meteoric rise to prominence in May. "He makes us see a wonderful story, like a Hollywood movie."

Guler wrote another memorable chapter in that story on Tuesday, as he inspired Turkey to victory in their Euro 2024 opener against Georgia, breaking Cristiano Ronaldo's record as the youngest player to score on their tournament debut in the process. Georgia were also making their Euros bow, and put up an impressive fight, but in the end, they had no answer to the brilliance of Real Madrid's so-called 'Turkish Messi'.

With the scoreline locked at 1-1 heading towards the final 20 minutes, the ball popped up to Guler out wide some 40-yards from goal, and he proceeded to turn effortlessly before gliding towards the edge of the box and unleashing a wicked, curling strike that flew into the top right corner of the net. It was a special goal from a special talent, and it capped a majestic display, with Turkey eventually running out 3-1 winners.

When Guler returns to Madrid for pre-season in July, he will face an uphill battle to force his way into Carlo Ancelotti's starting XI, as the Italian coach is blessed with a host of world-class attackers. But he must find a role for Guler. The 19-year-old is simply too good to warm the bench, and there is no need to take a cautious approach with his development because he's already proven he can perform under the brightest of spotlights.

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