Real Madrid star Isco has responded to those questioning his physical condition during an enforced absence at Real Madrid by asking: “Am I fat?”
The Spain international has found himself on the fringes of the fold at Santiago Bernabeu since a change was made in the dugout.
Despite being forced to undergo surgery for acute appendicitis in September, the 26-year-old was called upon by Julen Lopetegui when fit and available.
That has not been the case under Santiago Solari, with the new man at the helm favouring other options.
Isco is yet to start a game since Lopetegui’s reign came to an end in the wake of a 5-1 Clasico defeat to Barcelona on October 28.
A proven performer has been left baffled by his ongoing omission and has sought to bring an end to any suggestion that his weight is being used as excuse for bench duty.
While Isco has used social media as a platform in which to ask “Am I fat?”, it is not his followers who pick the Madrid team.
Solari has declared himself to be “satisfied” with a player who can be “decisive” , but he continues to overlook him.
It was suggested back in November that the Blancos boss was concerned about Isco’s condition , with Dani Ceballos telling El Chiringuito : "He is a player who came from a major injury and went through surgery.
"With Julen, he played two consecutive games and with Solari, he said he saw him a bit out of shape, but he is training 100 per cent.
"He knows the importance of managing a dressing room and has the philosophy of Madrid's values."
Isco does not look to be “a bit out of shape” at present, but he clearly still has work to do if he is to convince his coach and any other doubters of his worth.
If he fails to do that over the coming weeks, then more transfer speculation can expect to be sparked around a man who has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League in the past.