Real Madrid have reached an agreement with Wolfsburg to loan them hot prospect Borja Mayoral for one season. With Real Madrid Castilla having failed to progress to the second division via a playoff, it was inevitable that the young starlet would be loaned out to gain a higher level of football. But a move to a side like Wolfsburg is probably a step too far too soon. Such thinking was probably spawned by Dani Carvajal's successful spell at Bayer Leverkusen in the 2012/13 season, but it's worth noting that there are several differences between these two loan moves.
Carvajal was 21 and physically mature enough to handle the speed and intensity of top flight football on a regular basis. Additionally, he entered a team with no established right back to compete with, giving him an extremely valuable 31 Bundesliga starts (1 substitute appearance and 2 more starts in the Europa League) and a total of 2783 minutes. The situation for Mayoral is the exact opposite. He just turned 19 in April and has yet to develop the physical maturity necessary to be a top flight striker and roll with the challenges. He also has to compete with the likes of Max Kruse and Bas Dost for minutes, something that will not ensure Mayoral anywhere close to the number of minutes Carvajal got. It is also worth noting that Carvajal arrived at Wolfsburg as the ex-captain of the Castilla side, showing that he had the necessary mental maturity to immediately slot into a top class side. While Mayoral has shown impressive cool with the Real Madrid first team, it is a huge gamble to expect a 19 year old to have the mental maturity to navigate a completely new country and language and deal with a difficult minutes situation. He also arrives at Wolfsburg less prepared for the quality of football he is going to face. Carvajal at least had second division football to prep him for the big time; Mayoral has only played in the third division on a regular basis.
All of this raises big questions over Real Madrid's thinking in making such a huge leap with Mayoral's future. With players at such a tender age as Borja, it is often important to take things slowly and make the deals that ensure the most minutes for a player. Real Madrid have gone the opposite and much riskier route. If Mayoral miraculously breaks into the starting line-up and nets 15 Bundesliga goals, Real Madrid's management will be praised as visionaries. But if Mayoral struggles for minutes and his development is stunted, Los Blancos' management will have to face some hard questions.