Why Brahim Diaz probably doesn’t have a Real Madrid future

Milan, Brahim Diaz (Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Milan, Brahim Diaz (Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

Real Madrid forward Brahim Diaz has spent the last two seasons on loan at AC Milan, and there is a feeling that he would be best served staying another year with the Serie A champions. And he reportedly will remain, along with former Crotone star Junior Messias.

Madridistas are fine with Brahim spending another season in Milan, though they understand he needs to show a LOT more. Brahim received a healthy 1,236 minutes in his first season in Italy during 2020/21, and he received even more playing time in 2021/22, getting 1,872 minutes of action.

But Brahim frustrated Milanisti, going anonymous in too many matches. He was a liability at times towards the end of the season and undid a lot of the progress he made during a few rich patches of form. Brahim’s development seemed to stagnate.

There were positive signs. Brahim had a few big matches where he was direct and smart with his passing, constantly creating danger. However, the return of three goals and three assists in the Serie A season was not impressive, nor were his underlying numbers great.

Brahim Diaz needs to make a stronger impact at Milan

Brahim finished the 2021/22 campaign with 1.5 dribbles per game, 1.1 fouls drawn per game, and 1.0 key passes per match.

Those are decent numbers, but nothing blows you away about them. They are the stats of a rotational piece at Milan, even though we are talking about a player who made 25 starts.

For Real Madrid fans, these numbers are not decent. They are totally disappointing. Players who want to make Real’s first team need to be stars when they are on loan. Milan may be a special case in some ways, because they were the champions of Serie A. But you would still expect Brahim to be producing better numbers and being a bigger part of Milan’s success than he was.

Brahim is a smart, technical player with tactical versatility. But he is not a great athlete nor an exciting player who can create something from nothing. He is not dominating games for Milan. He is not a consistent star for them.

That means at Real Madrid, he would be mediocre. He would fade out of the picture. We would see more all-around play than Marco Asensio, but we would see fewer game-changing moments. And he would be just as prone to bad patches of form.

Brahim is still young at 22. But Real Madrid have high expectations and their own host of great young players, including the likes of Peter who are just dying to get their chances to succeed.

So Brahim does not have that much time to prove himself to Real Madrid, even as he has plenty of time to prove himself to other clubs. The 2022/23 season for Brahim, presumably at Milan, will be decisive.

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However, from what we have seen these past two years, Brahim just doesn’t have that “something special” a player needs to make it to Real Madrid’s first team as a forward. I hope I am wrong, but the standard in Madrid is higher than ever. Brahim needs to have the season of his life to turn heads at Valdebebas. It is possible, but the onus is clearly on the Spaniard to change a future trajectory that is increasingly pointing away from the Santiago Bernabeu.

Because the 1,800 minutes he played in Serie A last season? Those opportunities might not be there in 2022/23 if Brahim does not actively force the issue. Milan will have other options available.