Real Madrid have sent out a handful of promising players on loan for the 2021-2022 season, but no two players are in a more interesting situation than Takefusa Kubo and Reinier Jesus. We are talking about two of the most promising attacking midfield prospects in the entire world, on the books of the most-followed club on the planet. But we are also talking about two players who have not been able to put together consistent production on the pitch in the last year.
Let’s start with the case of Reinier, since his situation is a little more straightforward. He joined Real Madrid in the winter 2019 transfer window for a hefty fee from Flamengo. After shining with Castilla, he received a major loan move to Borussia Dortmund. But instead of becoming a role player for the high-flying Black and Yellows, Renier has barely been on the pitch, stuck in a crowded attacking midfield.
Meanwhile, Kubo joined Villarreal last season – a great team that went on to win the Europa League in 2020-2021. Yet the Japanese international never got a chance to hoist the trophy. Though he did play well with a goal and an assist in five Europa League starts, Kubo was mostly a bench player under Unai Emery. Frustrated, Real Madrid and Kubo agreed to switch his loan to Getafe, where he also barely registered as a role player for a highly defensive side.
Reinier remains in Dortmund, where, under Marco Rose, there is hope of a bigger role following Jadon Sancho’s departure. But with other players still there and Donyell Malen now in the team, it’s not as if the runway is clear for Reinier. Furthermore, there is already talk that if Reinier does not play much this first half-season (dubbed the “Hinrunde” in German football), then all parties will look to move on.
Real Madrid could be looking for a new playmaker in 2022-2023
Kubo is, at least, in familiar territory. Mallorca is back in LaLiga, and Kubo is back with Mallorca, where he scored four times and assisted four times in an encouraging 2019-2020 campaign.
Both Kubo and Reinier are young, talented, and have plenty of time to develop. But “time to develop” is a loaded word at Real Madrid. Because while Kubo and Reinier have time in the context of their careers, they don’t have much time to prove themselves to this club specifically.
At the end of the 2021-2022 season, Isco’s contract will run out. Barring an exceptional season from the Andalusian, which is entirely possible under Carlo Ancelotti, he probably isn’t coming back. Isco commands a high salary and is not young, whereas Real Madrid probably want to find a young playmaker/No. 10 in light of Martin Odegaard’s departure to Arsenal this past summer.
While Kubo and Reinier have more than just one season to impress, the point is that time is ticking. Because Real Madrid need to know who they can count on for this role. They do not usually play with a No. 10, but, based on their history, they like to have a playmaker who can fill that role in a diamond midfield or be a wide midfield or inverted winger who can playmake.
Real Madrid need Takefusa Kubo and Reinier Jesus to seize any chance they get
Kubo has shown potential in a center attacking or right-sided attacking role, like Odegaard. While Reinier is more physical and can play further up centrally as a “false nine”, too. Reinier has less minutes, so he is also more of a wild card. We don’t even fully know all the positions he can play or how his skills translate, since we have seen so little of him at the highest level.
That’s the biggest problem. Real Madrid need more minutes to evaluate these players and see if they can take on the responsibility, if they need a little more time, or if Real should just go ahead and invest in someone bold like Reinier’s current teammate Giovanni Reyna.
How these two young men perform in 2021-2022 could dictate if Real Madrid spend a little more on someone who is already able to produce at a high level, or if they go for an even younger prospect like Rayan Cherki.
So Kubo and Renier are in a tough position, as any young attacking player at Real Madrid is. They need to prove to the club that they can make a difference in the near future. It doesn’t mean they will be cut loose with a bad season, but chances are that only one of them is going to make this team in the next three years, with Brahim Diaz being the other after his loan concludes at Milan. Of these three, Brahim has shown the most polish and production, though Kubo and Reinier may have more potential.
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That word “potential” is a tricky one. It honestly means very little, especially as the years go by. Real Madrid believe in these two young players and want more for them. It’s why we hear so many rumors about Reinier. Real do not want him to waste time sitting around. At the same time, though, their belief cannot go against the team’s success. And it is up to these players to seize whatever opportunities they get to the fullest. Real look for players who seize the moment, because those are the players who succeed at the Santiago Bernabeu. Thus, that is the vital task ahead of these two first-team hopefuls.