With Cristiano Ronaldo having joined Italian giants Juventus from Real Madrid at the beginning of the season, a LaLiga star has now claimed the five-time Ballon d'Or winner "helped cover up" some of Los Blancos' problems.
Celta Vigo forward Iago Aspas, who was linked with the Spanish giants in the latest transfer window, believes Ronaldo's exit from the 13-time UEFA Champions League winners has left them, to some degree, exposed.
"Cristiano helped cover up many weaknesses," he said, according to Sport.
"He won a lot of matches because of how hard he hit the ball, but I think they're playing better this year than they did last season."
Aspas also commented on the Madrid club's sacking of Julen Lopetegui.
"In football, it's a results business. There isn't time for you to implement your system," he added.
"There were a lot of changes. The departure of Cristiano, whose goals covered up a lot of their weaknesses... to see Real Madrid in eighth or ninth place, it's understandable that the directors would become anxious."
Real are currently sixth in LaLiga, having claimed just 17 points from their first 11 matches of the campaign.
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