Real Madrid: What does the future hold for Borja Mayoral?

Roma, Borja Mayoral (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)
Roma, Borja Mayoral (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid‘s most productive loanee in the 2020-2021 season hasn’t been one of the expected suspects. Brahim Diaz has played well and deserves praise, but, aside from him, the players loaned starting in the summer 2019 transfer window have largely disappointed. Takefusa Kubo was poor for Villarreal and has not picked up his performances for Getafe yet, Reinier has barely played, and Dani Ceballos has taken a step back.

The most impressive Real Madrid loanee this season has been in Serie A, but it actually isn’t Brahim. No, it is striker Borja Mayoral, who was the loanee placed lower than anyone else on the Madridista radar, with the exception of the declining Gareth Bale.

Mayoral scored again this week, putting a goal past a David Carmo-less SC Braga in a 2-0 Europa League victory. The Spanish international needed only 20 minutes to make an impact, scoring a goal off the bench to add to starter Edin Dzeko’s opener.

Playing behind Dzeko would normally be a tough situation for a No. 9, since Dzeko is one of Serie A’s most respected strikers. But Mayoral’s had his fair share of opportunities, scoring four times in seven Europa League appearances (six starts). He’s been just as good in Serie A with six goals and two assists across seven starts and nine bench appearances.

Borja Mayoral is showing why Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane took a liking to him

We’re starting to see why Zinedine Zidane was high on Mayoral just before the 2020-2021 season, even playing Mayoral in an early-season match. Mayoral even said during a press conference at Roma that Zidane wanted to pick him over Luka Jovic. That sounds wild, but Mayoral does have the all-round skill-set that Zidane seems to like in a striker. And you can’t help but think that he could do a much better job as a backup than Mariano Diaz right now.

That said, the loan has been the best thing for Mayoral, who would have never gotten the minutes with Real Madrid. In Roma, Mayoral has been a revelation in a backup role, and he is not a seldom-used backup either.

This has been the most productive season for the 23-year-old striker, and his development is starting to peak at the right time. Mayoral was not successful in his loan spell at Wolfsburg, but he showed real development last season with Levante and is now producing at a high level for Roma in arguably Europe’s most competitive league.

Mayoral’s future with Real Madrid may not exist, though. Even if Real wanted to keep him around, it would be a surprise if Roma did not make his deal permanent. For just 15 million euros, Roma can sign Mayoral at any point this season. If they wait until the second year of his loan, that price rises by five million euros. So why wait? Mayoral has already proven to be productive and is actually producing goals and assists at a more efficient rate than Dzeko!

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Real Madrid will be happy to pocket the money and move forward with Karim Benzema and either Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe up top. But Mayoral has become a success story in his own right and can be a great fit for Roma for a few seasons to come. He’s been very impressive in 2020-2021 for the Giallorossi, and Madridistas should give him his due before he officially leaves.