How are Real Madrid’s loanees getting on this season?
Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Real Madrid have some quality players out on loan, players who undoubtedly could have changed, or at least improved the club’s dire situation so far this campaign. The management have made plenty of poor decisions with regards to where their talented players end up on loan, and this season, that trend has continued. Let’s take a quick look at how the loanees are fairing at their temporary clubs so far:

Martin Ødegaard

The latest player to leave on loan, Ødegaard grew fed up with the lack of chances under Zinedine Zidane, having been promised an important role during the off-season, only for him to return and not feature as heavily as expected. He’ll be at Arsenal for the remainder of the season, but there’s a feeling that he and Arsenal could push for an extra year at the Gunners, especially if Zidane remains at Madrid.


Ødegaard has so far been selected by Mikel Arteta for both Premier League games against Manchester United and Wolves, and played seven minutes off the bench against United, but was an unused substitute for the 9-man Arsenal in their defeat to Wolves. Hopefully, he’ll get more gametime soon.

Takefusa Kubo

The Japanese teenager really struggled to get into Unai Emery’s plans at Villarreal between the start of the season and January, until Madrid pulled the plug on that failed loan, which saw him only start seven of a possible 18 games. His best performance came against Turkish club Sivasspor in the UEFA Europa League, Kubo scored and made two assist in a 5-3 win for the Yellow Submarines. But there was a sinking feeling, a concern at Madrid, and so they pulled him out and sent him closer to home, to Getafe.

Since moving, he came off the bench in his debut game, but has since started three in a row and looks like a consistent feature in José Bordalás’ plans on the right-wing. Excited to see how Take develops.

Luka Jovic

Another nightmare season and a half at Madrid came to an end when enough was enough. The Serbian needed playing-time, and later admitted that he struggled to communicate with Zidane at Real. Back to Frankfurt he went, and the 23-year old immediately picked up from where he left off in the German Bundesliga. Two goals on his debut against Schalke in a 3-1 win, and then he scored again six days later against Arminia Bielefeld.

Jovic hasn’t started a game yet since retuning, but in four substitute performances, during which he hasn’t played more than 30 minutes per game, he has three goals to his name, and importantly, a smile.

Borja Mayoral

The Spaniard joined Roma on a two-year loan, and is very much a player who the club expects to offload in the summer of 2022. Still only 23-years old, Mayoral has clearly impressed, but the question is, why didn’t he stay as Karim Benzema’s substitute, instead of Mariano Diaz?

Mayoral has done really well in Serie A, scoring nine goals so far and contributing to three assists for Roma, in 21 games. That’s averaging more than a goal contribution every other game.

Reinier Jesus

One of the more embarrassing decisions made by the club. The Brazilian was about to be moved to Real Valladolid in the summer, and last month too, when Real thought of cutting his two-year loan to Borussia Dortmund short. But why didn’t they, and why did Reinier choose to stay?

For a youngster of vast quality, you need to be showcasing your talents week in week out, and developing and molding yourself, but to say Reinier has struggled to fit in at Dortmund would be an understatement. The teenager has featured in eight matchday squads, but hasn’t started in any of them, and averages 16 minutes per match – with next to no impact on the pitch.

The issue is that Dortmund have so many options in the positions Reinier thrived in at Flamengo and internationally for Brazil’s youth teams, which is what makes the decision to waste two years of his development at a club which is fully booked in those positions, all the more baffling. In fact, Reinier hasn’t made a squad list for the last 10 games in all competitions, completely frozen out, having last featured for 31 minute against VfB Stuttgart on 12th December 2020.

Brahim Diaz

One of the few success stories of Real’s recent loan policy, Brahim has done well at AC Milan. So well, that the Italians want to either extend the loan, or purchase him outright. Considering Madrid need all the money they can get, and with Brahim impressing, it appears as though both clubs could strike a deal in the region of €30-35m this summer. He’s a fine player, technically gifted, and one who Zidane personally pleaded to go out and get some first team minutes away from Real. And he’s done just that.

He has four goals and two assists in all competitions, but importantly he’s playing a big role in the team, whether that’s starting or coming off the bench to make an impact. Brahim could be a Real regular in the future, he’s that good, but the chances are, he’ll be sold this summer to fund bigger operations.

Gareth Bale

Ahhh Gareth. At what point does the Welshman sit back and reflect, that maybe he’s the issue? Zidane was criticised heavily for his treatment of Bale, but Jose Mourinho has arguably treated him even worse at Tottenham Hotspur, where he’s unlikely to stay. Three goals scored in cup competitions, and one in the Premier League when called upon, Bale appears to be heading back to Madrid this summer.

He’ll have one year left on his contract, on a very expensive contract, which could impact big summer signings. How Real handle it will be interesting, common sense would say pay him for the remaining year and make him a free-agent, but common sense isn’t regularly used at Madrid when it comes to Bale.

Jesus Vallejo

Another failure who the club just don’t want to let go off, and for what reason? His most recent performance was the 5-3 defeat to Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey. Granada had been winning 2-0 at the 80th minute, until Vallejo was substituted on, and the Catalans ended normal time at 2-2, before going on to secure progression to the semi-finals with a 5-3 win.

Vallejo just isn’t as good as Madrid think he is; injury prone, weak on the ball and off it, and hasn’t developed at all. He’s now 24-years old, and still isn’t a guaranteed starter at a club like Granada. It’s time Madrid offload Vallejo this summer, and invest in a proper young central defender, or give one from La Fabrica the platform to grow and impress in the first team.


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