Why it could be best for Real Madrid to sell Takefusa Kubo instead of loaning him

Real Madrid, Takefusa Kubo (Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Takefusa Kubo (Photo by VI Images via Getty Images) /

Real Madrid signed Takefusa Kubo as a free agent in the summer 2019 transfer window, and Madridistas were excited to see how the former Barcelona academy player would develop with the Merengue club.

Immediately, Real sent him on loan in LaLiga to Mallorca, and though he did not begin the season as a regular starter, he impressed and earned a starting job. That made him a coveted loan target in the summer 2020 window, where Real chose Villarreal out of all the offers available.

While Villarreal would go on to win the Europa League in 2020/21, Kubo was not a part of that success. He did not adapt to what Unai Emery expected from him, and so Villarreal terminated his loan in order to bring in someone else. Kubo ended up at Getafe, and the following season, he was loaned back to Mallorca.

Since that first season in Mallorca, Kubo has, quite frankly, been a disappointment. He has flashed here and there, sure, but he has failed to show any growth since the second half of a promising 2019/20 campaign.

Real Madrid are negotiating with Real Sociedad over a Takefusa Kubo transfer

According to a report from Ramón Álvarez de Mon, Real Madrid are in negotiations with a major LaLiga club that has consistently shown interest in two long-time Merengue loanees, Takefusa Kubo and Reinier Jesus. Kubo has been Real Sociedad’s main target since that 2019/20 season in Mallorca, as they wanted to replace him with another standout loanee in Martin Ødegaard.

Now, La Real are reportedly hoping to secure Kubo for the 2022/23 season. But in a twist, Ramón Álvarez de Mon reports that Real Madrid and Real Sociedad are actually negotiating over a permanent transfer.

That is surprising, but there is an important caveat here. Los Blancos are reportedly looking to add a buy-back clause in any sale of Kubo, so that they can get him back. This is a common transfer for Madrid, as they have done this with players they bought who later had success (Casemiro), players they bought back who flopped (Mariano), and players they have still not bought back (fullbacks Fran Garcia and Sergio Reguilon being among them).

Selling Kubo without a buy-back would be foolish, because he is 21 and has huge potential.

So if he has such talent, why sell him in the first place?

Takefusa Kubo needs to have room to grow at a club

By selling Kubo, Real Madrid would be making a statement to both the player and his future club. They are saying that Kubo will be entrenched at that club. Basically, if he fails, he could be stuck there. He won’t be moved anywhere else immediately. Unlike at Villarreal, there is no “lifeline” of another loan. Unlike at Mallorca, there is no “next step”. It is “swim” at La Real or “sink”.

That puts pressure on Real Sociedad to get the most out of their investment, and it puts pressure on Kubo to excel. He needs to have a fire lit under him, because that will get him used to the expectations Real Madrid have. To prove that you can be a first-team forward for Los Blancos, you have to be a star in LaLiga. La Real are a great club and have all the ingredients in place for Kubo to succeed; he just has to take that next step.

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Selling and buying a player back costs more than loaning, but if Kubo ends up being a star, he is worth that investment. And if he does not fulfill his potential within the next few years at La Real, then Los Blancos can be happy making a sale. Kubo could be good for Real Sociedad but not good enough for Real Madrid. As a transfer and not a loanee, he will get more time to develop so that Los Blancos can truly see if he is “not good”, “just good”, or “truly great”. If he falls in any of these categories, a move is justified, so long as there is a buy-back in place if he shows he is “truly great”.

Now, we have to see if these negotiations materialize into anything or if another club is an option for this kind of a move, should Los Blancos fail to come to terms with Real Sociedad. As long as the destination makes sense and a buy-back clause is in place, Kubo getting to spread his wings for a few years could benefit him – and, by extension, Madrid – in the end.