Real Madrid know how to work the loan market better than any other club in Europe. This season saw Los Blancos send a number of young players out on loan to gain first team experience, continuing a trend that has seen the Santiago Bernabeu outfit replenish their squad every summer over a number of years.
Martin Odegaard joined Real Sociedad on a two-season loan last summer, with the Norwegian midfielder enjoying a hugely successful campaign. Odegaard was one of the best players in La Liga over the 2019/20 campaign, impressing to such an extent that many predict Real Madrid will cut short his original loan agreement to recall him to the Spanish capital next season.
Indeed, the 21-year-old looks to be the natural heir to Luka Modric and with the Croatian out of contract next summer the transition between the two could happen sooner rather than later. Odegaard very much looks destined to become the beating heart of Real Madrid’s midfield at some point in the near future.
Then there’s Achraf Hakimi, the Moroccan full back who was loaned out to Borussia Dortmund for two seasons in the summer of 2018. In the Bundesliga, the young full back thrived, leading to Inter paying €40 million for him earlier this month. Some believe Zinedine Zidane should have found a place for Hakimi in his Real Madrid squad, but the club still turned a profit from their decision to sell him on.
So what does the future hold for Takefusa Kubo, the Japanese youngster who has spent the season on loan at Real Mallorca? Previously on the books of Barcelona, Kubo has caught the eye recently, leading to a discussion over how Zidane will ultimately integrate him into the squad at the Santiago Bernabeu.
It seems likely the 19-year-old will be loaned out again next season, but the standard of his performances for Real Mallorca suggest he would take a return to his parent club for the 2020/21 campaign in his stride. This is a player with incredible potential, seemingly destined to reach the top of the sport at some point in the future.
Of course, the argument could be made that Kubo would be better off playing for a team where he would be guaranteed first team football. Competition is stiff at Real Madrid for attacking places at this moment. But the best players thrive in the toughest environments.
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