2 important things Brahim does that Marco Asensio doesn’t


Real Madrid right winger Marco Asensio has one final chance to prove that he belongs at the world’s biggest club. The forward had a string of solid performances, including a goal against Granada, but he has since fallen back down to his old habits. Asensio was downright awful in a narrow 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao, and he was also quiet in another big game over the weekend against Sevilla.

He has a tendency to go quiet in big matches. And we are getting to a point where if he is not scoring via a good shot with his left foot, then he is not providing value to the team. Aside from a few nice passes against Rayo Vallecano, Asensio hasn’t really done anything as a creator.

That’s where Brahim Diaz comes in. If Asensio is fighting to prove that he deserves to stay at Real Madrid, then the loanee in his second season with Milan is out to prove that he belongs on Real’s first time. After flashing in the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 seasons, the two-footed right winger has found a solid home for himself in Serie A.

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Whereas Asensio struggled to make any sort of a difference at mid-week vs. Athletic Bilbao, Brahim was a standout in a comfortable 3-0 win for Milan over Genoa.

Brahim can create for his teammates

According to WhoScored.com, the 22-year-old had six dribbles completed, three key passes, and an assist. He played a role in both open-play goals, which were both scored by fellow standout winger Junior Messias.

Brahim shows good intelligence and the ability to find teammates in the penalty box with his passes. Like an NFL quarterback, Brahim passes players open. Meaning, he knows exactly where to place a short pass so that the other attacker can make a productive play thereafter. That is something quite a few players on Real Madrid lack, to be blunt.

Asensio rarely provides for his teammates. He has one assist in the Champions League and none in La Liga. If you add his key passes per game in both competitions together, he is at 1.1. Brahim on the other hand, is at 2.1. And he has three assists in all competitions. Meanwhile, Asensio is partnered with the two most in-form players in La Liga, Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema, yet his creative numbers are absolutely embarrassing for a Madrid player.

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Creativity with passing is clearly in Brahim’s favor. And so is creativity off the dribble. Say what you want about Genoa, but six dribbles completed against them is impressive. When was the last time Real Madrid’s current No. 11 had six dribbles completed against any opponent?

Brahim destroys Asensio in terms of dribbling

Brahim makes great, slaloming, penetrative runs into the penalty box. He takes a lot of short, purposeful touches with the ball while running, and that causes all sorts of havoc. Even if he loses the ball, the defense has scrambled so much that Milan can either win it back or even create something off the bounce if the ball comes off Brahim into the mess that has ensued in the penalty area.

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So far this season, Brahim is averaging 2.8 dribbles per game in the Champions League and 1.9 in Serie A. Meanwhile, Asensio has no dribbles completed in the Champions League and a ghastly 0.6 per game in La Liga. That is an unfounded number for a winger at Real Madrid. Wingers at this club are expected to be able to beat defenders and make something happen off the dribble, which teammates Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes are capable of.

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Meanwhile, Brahim also checks off these boxes. If Real want a creative, versatile winger who can help his teammates in the rotation, then the Milan man is now their man. Asensio may be finding a niche role and earning some trust from Carlo Ancelotti, but he quite clearly does not offer nearly as much as this talented loanee in Italy.


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