Real Madrid’s five worst loan deals of the last five years

Real Madrid loanee Reinier at Dortmund(Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
Real Madrid loanee Reinier at Dortmund(Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images) /
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Villarreal, Takefusa Kubo
Villarreal, Takefusa Kubo (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images) /

3 – Takefusa Kubo to Villarreal (2020/21)

Here’s another loan deal that ended prematurely after just six months, with Takefusa Kubo being the victim of improper planning from both Real Madrid and Villarreal.

When Kubo arrived at Real Madrid on a free transfer and performed well in Real Madrid’s 2019 pre-season, fans got their hopes high and were really excited to see the ‘Japanese Messi’ at their club. Following a successful loan spell at RCD Mallorca in 2019/20, the fans started to see the Japanese international as the future of Real Madrid.

He couldn’t return to Madrid due to the huge squad depth and with all the three non-EU spots filled by Brazilians. It was clear that Kubo needed to go on loan to a bigger club, preferably at a club playing in Europe. Sevilla approached Madrid for a loan move, but they wanted to include a mandatory option to buy, which was rejected by Real. After weeks of speculation and lots of competition, Kubo ended at Villarreal, a club that was known for its attacking football.

He had a slow start to life under Villarreal’s new manager Unai Emery and was mainly limited to substitutional appearances in LaLiga and starts in Europa League, against weaker oppositions. This didn’t make Real Madrid and Kubo happy, as the club saw the need for Kubo to play more in the league and started to pressurize the Castellon-based club.

Emery tried to be patient in Kubo’s case and expressed his intentions of taking it slow with Kubo. But eventually, he was tired of Kubo’s inconsistent performances and the pressure from Real Madrid, which made him say that he didn’t care about players who weren’t interested in staying. It was the last time Kubo’s name was taken by him in front of the media, as Kubo left Villarreal for Getafe.

As Madridistas, we can point out Emery for his statements, but he was right in Kubo’s case. Kubo had zero goals and assists in 292 minutes in LaLiga for Villarreal and got 1 goal and 3 assists in 5 starts for Villarreal in the Europa League. His numbers don’t look that impressive in the league, and Kubo’s defensive work rate as an RM/LM in Emery’s 4-4-2 wasn’t enough to please the manager.

Maybe the club should’ve taken a deeper look into the case before loaning Kubo out because he ended up at a club whose manager’s expectations couldn’t be fulfilled by the teenager. This loan deal became a failure due to the club’s improper planning combined with Kubo’s troubles in adjusting to Emery’s tactics.