Real Madrid: Examining Kubo’s Performances vs Elche, Huesca

Getafe, Takefusa Kubo (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Getafe, Takefusa Kubo (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images) /

Welcome to this series where I track Real Madrid loanee Takefusa Kubo’s development. I was writing about his performances at Villarreal USA, but since he has moved, I have now decided to cover him here.

Well, well. Takefusa Kubo has played over 106 minutes of football in two games at Getafe, since Real Madrid terminated his loan deal with Villarreal, and sent him to Getafe, a fellow Madrid-based club. Do you know how long it took for Kubo to see 100 minutes of football at Villarreal? Seven cameos. After that, he started against Sivasspor. Compared to that, this is something Kubo would be more comfortable with. Getafe are clearly struggling with goals this season, and they have brought in Kubo and Alena to make sure that they create enough chances to score every game.

The first match — a cameo vs Elche — wasn’t really an amazing game. I don’t have much to say about it, to be honest. He had good touches, made a few runs. It wasn’t a bad performance, even if he wasn’t involved much. He had a goal contribution in the second goal, as he was the one whose shot from the edge of the box was saved, after which Mata scored on the rebound. Kubo had one goal creating action (the aforementioned), one pass into the penalty area, and five pressures out of which three were actually successful! He had two blocks, one interception, that’s it. As I said, there was not a lot to say about this game, but yeah, not bad. The next game, however, was much better.

After the 26-minute appearance a week prior, Kubo earned his first start for Getafe against a struggling Huesca team. He started on the right flank. Getafe had a 4-2-3-1 going on when attacking, and a 4-4-2 when defending. This was a pretty decent game from Kubo.

He looked active in the press, he was making runs into spaces, per usual. It seemed like he had a semi-free role. Kubo was mainly on the right flank — making use of the huge amounts of space left behind by Huesca defenders sometimes — or in the halfspace. In some sequences, he was also found in the middle and tried attacking the Huesca defense.

Real Madrid loanee Takefusa Kubo seems to have more freedom with Getafe

From what I saw, he was very hard to dispossess; something he became even better at during his loan spell at Villarreal. He was pushed, pulled, and fouled by the other team to win the ball, and that was a good sign. He also had a free-kick attempt, in which he took a good shot but it was a little too close to the goalkeeper. A little more to the right and that would’ve resulted in his first goal for the club. He had a few instances where he had little to no space along the sidelines and somehow managed to get out of that with the ball in his feet, which was just, really impressive. Going forward, he definitely had more freedom than when he was at Villarreal, but less than when he was at Mallorca.

Kubo was involved in the defense as well. As I said, he did some pressing during the game. Especially when Getafe lost possession, Kubo and others would start a counter-press for a few seconds. This was something you didn’t really notice him doing at Villarreal until after he had played a bunch of games. He also tracked back and helped with the defense, like on the 22nd minute. His influence waned down a little bit in the second half, but it was a pretty decent performance from the Japanese international.

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The Real Madrid loanee took three shots, two of which were on target. He had for shot creating-actions in total and completed five of his seven dribbles, which was his season-high. He had 43 touches, his second-highest this season. He had two key passes. Defensively, he had 22 presses, which was another season-high, a block, two interceptions, two clearances, so yeah, a good start for Kubo.

Takefusa Kubo will look to build on this as Getafe travel to Bilbao to play the Supercopa winners on Monday.