Luka Modric is still adapting to life in Spain, but has a role to play in Real Madrid's future says team-mate Xabi Alonso.
The former Tottenham player has struggled since making a £33m move to the Spanish champions, staring just eight league games and scoring one goal.
The return on the investment Real made in him saw Modric recently voted the worst signing of the summer by readers of Spanish newspaper Marca.
This has led to speculation he could make a swift return to the Premier League where he enjoyed such success with Spurs.
His former club, plus Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have all been mooted as possible destinations.
However, Modric's team-mate and rival for a place in the heart of Los Blancos' midfield Alonso, says Modric's slow start at the Bernabeu is understandable.
"There are a few of us competing for that position and he is adapting to a new club and a new league," the Spanish midfielder told a news conference.
"I found it difficult in my first season after coming from the Premier League but he is very well integrated, he is a fantastic lad and a great player. I have no doubt he will be important (to us)."