3 Real Madrid players who are already on the rise in 2022

Real Madrid, Eduardo Camavinga (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Eduardo Camavinga (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Mallorca, Takefusa Kubo
Mallorca, Takefusa Kubo (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images) /

RW Takefusa Kubo

And we conclude the piece with a player who is shining on loan. Real Madrid playmaker Takefusa Kubo had a slow start in 2019/20 after first being purchased by Los Blancos on a free, as Mallorca did not play him. But by the end of the season, he was one of LaLiga’s fastest-rising stars.

After weighing options on loan, Real sent him to Villarreal, sold by Unai Emery’s pitch. But Kubo barely played in LaLiga, despite shining in the Europa League. Emery just did not trust Kubo’s defensive contributions, and the Japanese international was not as consistent as he was for Mallorca in the final months of the previous season. So Kubo went on loan to Getafe, where things were even worse for him – he didn’t have the Europa League to dazzle in.

This season, Kubo had some promising moments to star the season, but an injury derailed his progress, turning him into something of a forgotten man for Madridistas.

Now, though, Kubo is back and back with a vengeance. He looks even better than he did in 2019/20, as the second half of his second stint with Mallorca has the makings of being a special few months.

Kubo has no goals or assists in LaLiga in 2022, but the more comprehensive numbers tell the story here. He had four key passes in a comeback win over Cadiz, another four key passes in a huge 3-2 upset of Athletic Bilbao, and five key passes with five dribbles completed and seven fouls drawn in an eye-catching display against another tough side in Valencia.

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Although Kubo still has work to do as far as making an impact in the final third and being consistent week-to-week (he could have done better against Real Sociedad and Celta Vigo, for example), the early returns this year are worth praising. Kubo is a playmaker in every sense, both as a dribbler and passer in the final third. Real Madrid could use that in 2022/23. If he keeps this up and Vinicius Jr. can get his EU passport, Kubo could be on his way to being the left-footed playmaker Real craves.