Should Real Madrid loan Luka Jovic to Milan in January?

Real Madrid, Luka Jovic (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Luka Jovic (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid striker Luka Jovic was frequently linked to AC Milan this summer, but should the loan move actually happen in January?

For the first time in his Real Madrid career, Luka Jovic started in back-to-back games against Real Betis and Real Valladolid this season. He didn’t score or assist, but the 22-year-old striker did play relatively well in both games, showing signs that he can take a step forward this season with more playing time.

But since Real’s 3-2 loss to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League, in which Jovic didn’t do much because of Real’s overall first-half ineptitude, the Serbian international has not started.

Even when he came off the bench against Valencia at the Mestalla, he was the second striker subbed in. Mariano Diaz was preferred as Karim Benzema’s injury replacement.

Although Mariano is the striker who is likely on the way out, Jovic isn’t out of the woods either. Loanee Borja Mayoral spilled the beans during a press conference at Roma, stating that Los Blancos manager Zinedine Zidane wanted to keep him and sell Jovic. And it seems like Real have eyes on Erling Haaland and are ready to move on from Jovic when they do replace him with a different No. 9.

It’s hard not to feel for the striker. He did everything he could in limited minutes last season, even assisting Casemiro’s winning goal against Sevilla with a backheel. Jovic showed his quality whenever he could, but he didn’t get many chances. And it doesn’t seem like Zidane is willing to change up his attacking tactics in order to best accommodate the young striker, hence why he may have preferred Mayoral (even though Mayoral is a much, much worse player).

The links to Milan have not subsided, and it is possible the Rossoneri, who lead Serie A, could make a move for Jovic. They may be ready to offer Real a loan deal. Maybe they cannot sign him on a permanent transfer, but maybe they can try to swing a loan deal like they have with Brahim Diaz. But whereas Real resisted the option to buy in Brahim’s loan, they may be more willing to include one for Jovic, who has featured in just 149 minutes in La Liga this season.

Jovic could be Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s successor and an intriguing striker to pair with Zlatan for the rest of the season. He could even be an option for West Ham, but Milan seem to make more sense. After all, the Rossoneri have been pursuing Jovic hard lately.

The striker is coming off a strong November international break with three goals and and two assists for Serbia, and his first goal was crucial to the team qualifying for the Euros. Jovic needed that boost of confidence, and he can still contribute to Real Madrid in 2020-2021. He should still be regarded as the top backup to Benzema and preferred to Mariano. Real cannot take anything for granted this season, including Benz’s health, so loaning or selling Jovic in January would be incredibly risky.

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A loan deal in January would be excellent for Milan and maybe even for Jovic in terms of his minutes, but it is not a good deal for Real Madrid. Come summer 2021, we could be talking about Jovic leaving Madrid permanently if Zidane does not realize the talent he has in front of him. Right now, though, Los Blancos cannot afford to lose any quality depth.