Should Real Madrid bring back Brahim Diaz next season?

Milan, Brahim Diaz (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Milan, Brahim Diaz (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images) /
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There are so many rumors circulating about Brahim Diaz’s Real Madrid future, but there is only one question that should matter to Madridistas.

Another year has arrived, but the same problems have not departed. Real Madrid continue to struggle to find goal-scoring options in the attack besides legendary striker Karim Benzema, as Lucas Vazquez and Vinicius Junior are the only other forwards with multiple goals. And they have just two apiece.

Although quite a number of Real’s loanees are struggling, Milan’s Brahim Diazwell, and surprise standout Borja Mayoral – has been the shining star of the bunch. In his first season on loan, the Spanish international has scored four goals with two assists in all competitions.

Like Takefusa Kubo, Brahim has played more regularly for the Serie A leaders in the Europa League than in the domestic league itself. But unlike Kubo, Brahim has still found a way to impress Milan in Serie A, and there’s a real chance the Rossoneri push to buy him permanently.

I want to be careful not to heap too much praise onto Brahim, because there are still things for him to work on. And at the end of the day, he has one goal and two assists in 574 Serie A minutes, so it’s not like he’s one of the club’s top players.

At the same time, I have been impressed with Brahim’s movement, efficiency, and ability to recover the ball in the final third. Brahim’s stats don’t blow anyone away, but the traits are there to see. Real Madrid need a wide forward who can score, assist, and still do the dirty work that a Lucas Vazquez type is willing to do.

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Speaking of Vazquez, a role in the squad could easily open if the long-time Madridista decides to play hardball at the negotiating table. In that case, the answer to the question posed in the title is a clear “yes”. Brahim has shown the defensive work and acumen needed to play significant minutes for Real Madrid, whereas Kubo, as Unai Emery has shown us, admittedly remains a work in progress despite having more overall athletic ability.

If Vazquez stays in Madrid, which is the ideal outcome for the club considering what he’s accomplished in 2020-2021, then the situation gets more complicated. Brahim could be an asset, but Marco Asensio and Rodrygo Goes are two more players who can play on the right-hand side. And has Brahim really done enough at Milan to make us confident he can be a regular scorer or assist provider against low blocks? Because that’s the main problem Los Blancos have.

Brahim is 21. We have to remember that as much as players like Kylian Mbappe and even Rodrygo have spoiled us with their excellence in the Champions League as teenagers, wide forwards still do need time and reps under their belt. While Brahim has made 13 appearances for Milan this season, he still doesn’t have 600 minutes under his belt. In terms of full 90’s, Brahim does not even have 10 full 90’s of experience in all competitions this season, and this is after barely playing for Los Merengues in 2019-2020.

If we consider that, then Brahim is actually more advanced as an all-around wide forward than we think. But I still believe he needs more playing time before he can be ready to play a key role for Real Madrid next season. Asensio isn’t going anywhere for now, and Rodrygo has quietly been more productive than Brahim; it’s just that we tend to hype up the players we don’t have right now more than the players we see day-in and day-out.

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Brahim has a lot of potential and can be an efficient, two-footed, well-rounded winger in a couple of years. Repeat that last part with me: a couple of years.

Ideally, Brahim will have another year on loan, perhaps in La Liga to reacclimate to the style of the league, and then Real Madrid will make a more informed decision on what to do with the player. He’s looked good for Milan this season, ranking fourth in goals and assists per 90 on the team, but there’s still work to be done.