Last week, Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid suffered a 2-1 loss — 4-2 on aggregate — to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
The defeat, which came three weeks after Real Madrid were crowned the champions of La Liga, saw Los Blancos bow out of the Champions League in the Round-of-16 stage, marking their second successive pre-quarterfinal exit.
Now, brushing last season’s woes aside, Real Madrid are preparing to make a mark in the upcoming campaign, hoping to make a bigger splash.
The 13-time European champions haven’t gone after any player, yet, in the summer transfer window. However, that doesn’t mean they haven’t moved a couple of pieces around.
Real Madrid talents, Takefusa Kubo and Martin Odegaard, are two of the most sought after players in Spanish football. While the Japanese sensation has only started to find his feet in La Liga, the Norwegian has already made a name for himself in the Spanish top-flight.
Last season, Kubo and Odegaard featured in Mallorca and Real Sociedad, respectively, and made sure to put in noticeable performances, week after week.
Unfortunately, their outings didn’t guarantee a call up to the Spanish champions. At least, it wasn’t meant to.
Takefusa Kubo’s inspiring move to Villarreal
19-year-old Take Kubo has once again been loaned out to a La Liga club, this time to a top-four aspirant — Villarreal. Last season, he did find his footing at Mallorca but the club weren’t able to give him the support he needed.
Their hapless performances only earned them 9 wins and 6 draws in 38 La Liga matches, which eventually led to their relegation.
This season, Kubo has the opportunity to play and hopefully thrive for a top-four contender. He’ll have the opportunity to learn from Unai Emery and interact with some established superstars.
Evidently, this could help Kubo get a sense of the tension before every big game, help him come to terms with the burden of wearing a world-class badge. However, hoping to play for a Europa challenger may bear a humongous consequence.
A glance at their squad would reveal that Villarreal have a host of superstars at their disposal. And while we have no qualms about Kubo’s qualities, we do have some doubts over his playtime.
Real Madrid must have worked out a deal with Villarreal, which would at least guarantee Kubo a fair shot at proving his mettle. The road ahead promises to be steep and daunting, but given the determination Kubo has, we’re hopeful of seeing something truly special.
Martin Odegaard’s surprising return to Real Madrid
At the end of the 2019-20 campaign, Real Madrid reportedly gave Real Sociedad the green light to keep Martin Odegaard for another season. And considering his performances for the club, Sociedad were happy to oblige.
Now, as per almost all top media outlets in Spain, there has been a slight change of plans. It is believed that Zinedine Zidane has asked Real Madrid president, Florentino Perez, to stop Odegaard’s renewal and instead, bring him back to the Spanish capital.
The clubs and the player haven’t officially confirmed anything, but the Norway international is reportedly set to return to Real Madrid on the 15th of August.
Real Madrid are usually rock-solid when it comes to loan deals. So, this sudden course correction hints at something big, something special for the young footballer.
With Luka Modric nearing the end of his Real Madrid career, Odegaard could actually get a shot at breaking into Zidane’s XI. However, thanks to Fede Valverde’s meteoric rise, the appearances could come few and far between.
Real Madrid are also not expected to break the bank in the summer transfer window this season and will look to offload the likes of Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Mariano Diaz, and more.
So, to complete the squad — and add some flexibility at the same time — getting Odegaard back seems like a brilliant idea. Whatever the case may be, but getting the boss’ approval before the start of a promising campaign is bound to boost Odegaard’s morale, and we’re eager to see how this one plays out.