This project is something that I have been stalling as I did not know when the right time to start it would be. After letting it simmer for long enough, it dawned upon me that there was probably no better time than the international break! For those with short memory, during the summer I categorised some of the players that Real Madrid have sent out on loan, and pledged to provide monthly updates on their progress. We’re around two and a half months into the season, but after breaking the ice hopefully this one will be start of many. The stats that you will see under every name are taken from club level, but we will be looking into their international progress also. Let’s get into it:
The Gold Category
Martin Ødegaard - (Vitesse Arnhem, Eredivisie)
This has to be one of the driest loan moves I’ve ever seen. The club have let a lot of people down with this move, including themselves, but life goes on. Martin has found his feet well in Holland, after taking a few games to break into the team. He now starts every game, and has chipped in with two fantastic long ranged goals - but only has one assist to his name so far. He’s made it back to the national team on a full time basis, but did get brought down to the under-21’s for one match to try and get them a result against Germany. A recent interview put him in a very positive light with Madrid fans after he gave off the opposite impression to Marco Asensio’s stance, in one of his latest talks. La Liga awaits for Martin, so for us and him - it’s just a case of waiting until the summer.
Borja Mayoral - (Levante, La Liga)
Borja featured early for Madrid in the SuperCup defeat, but was then loaned out to La Liga side Levante. He hasn’t really made much of an impression so far, but did score his first goal in the Copa Del Rey against Lugo. He has seen far more success in a Spain shirt so far this season! He has managed to score four goals and claim two assists, in four games for Spain under-21’s. The latest bunch coming from a hat-trick against Denmark the other day. The season is long, and Borja Mayoral still has plenty to contribute to it yet.
Aleix Febas - (Albacete, La Liga2)
When he first made this move I was very sceptical indeed, as it seemed like a step down. As of now it turns out to be pretty good! Ex-Castilla boss Luis Miguel Ramis has helped turn Albacete from relegation candidates to play-off hunters, and Aleix Febas is a factor in that. He’s started every league game as you would expect, and currently has two assists to his name. He almost managed to grab his first goal, but a deflection rued it to be an own goal. Another player who seems destined to play in La Liga next season, whether that be with high flyers Albacete or something new.
Álvaro Tejero - (Albacete, La Liga2)
Whilst we have come to expect it from Aleix Febas, it’s important to remember that this is Álvaro Tejero’s first season out of Castilla. He has literally not missed a single minute this season, and has completely wiped out his competition so far. With one assist to his name, his progression has been very rapid, and come the end of the season he may be ready for a step up as well. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise as he has always had the quality, but he is now starting to show why he was such a first team favourite at Real Madrid.
The Silver Category
Raúl de Tomás - (Rayo Vallecano, La Liga)
The goal machine finally has found his La Liga break, and shock - he’s still scoring goals. It didn’t sit with me right that he didn’t get a chance with the first team this pre-season after signing a new contract, and then the club seemed to have no answers as to why the goals had dried up. Raúl would have taken any role he could get, and even though he may not have turned up this summer his record spoke for itself. After bagging against Alavés, Espanyol, Getafe and most recently Villarreal in the last fixture - double figures should be the least of Raúl’s aims this season. José León is still waiting to make his top level bow.
Óscar Rodríguez - (Leganés, La Liga)
Probably the player whom has made the most progress on this list so far. It looked quite bleak after an average first senior season at Castilla. Óscar was pushed into the deep end after being sent out on loan to La Liga side Leganés. He had plenty of competition to fight against and it looked to be too much as he barely got to play in the first month. However, his main competitor, Gabriel, was sold off to Benfica - and all of a sudden Óscar was starting to get some minutes. This was really cemented when he managed to score the winner against the mighty Barcelona. Tap in or not, a goal of that pedigree lifts you up an to an unprecedented level within a club like Leganés. Since then he has not looked back, becoming a sure starter and picking up an extra assist against Valencia. He was even named young player of the month, picking up the award for October. Sometimes you just need that little but of luck! And maybe a move away from Santiago Solari...
Andriy Lunin - (Leganés, La Liga)
Clean Sheets: 0
It’s that little bit of luck that newcomer Andriy Lunin just cannot seem to find at the moment. After a good pre-season campaign with Real Madrid people expected the Ukrainian to push on this season and look to break into Los Blancos’ squad as soon as possible. So far he has made his La Liga debut, playing four minutes after coming on for the injured Cuéllar, and played in a cup game that saw him concede two early goals against Rayo Vallecano. He has carried on his international progress though, getting call-up’s for both the under-21’s and the senior team. Let’s all hope his fortunes have changed by the next loan report.
The Bronze Category
Lusimi Quezada - (Córdoba, La Liga2)
The biggest positive from Luismi’s start with Córdoba is that he is being fielded mainly at left-back, with the exception of a couple of winger cameos. This is the position that can see him transform into a top level player. Quezada has been in and out of the team but has still started a fair few games and even bagged a great assist against La Liga side Getafe in the Copa Del Rey. It seems that he is on his way to becoming a starter, and the sooner this happens for him the better!
Sergio Díaz - (Corinthians, Brasileiro Série A)
The nightmare continues. This was a weird move to start with, but if Sergio was going to get the opportunity to at least attempt to get back to his old ways then so be it. Of course, so far he hasn’t really got a kick. He did manage to make his debut, and one extra substitute appearance, but that is it. One positive is that for some reason he did manage to gain a senior international call-up for Paraguay. He didn’t get to play but the sentiment shows that the country haven’t given up on him just yet. Sadly I wouldn’t expect to see any progress anytime soon.
Achraf Hakimi - (Borussia Dortmund, Bundesliga)
The reason that Achraf was so low when it came to categorising this list is because the kid has already made it. His first two and a half or so months at the German giants can tell you that. The Champions League winner initially struggled to displace the very established Łukasz Piszczek in the line-up, but once he got his chance never looked back. Some of the highlights of a soaring start include a hat-trick of assist in the Champions League against noisy neighbours Atlético Madrid, and a well taken first goal against Nuremberg during a 7-0 Bundesliga drilling. The Moroccan is now an established international, and managed to get assists in all three of his games so far this season. And to top it all off he’s been up for two newcomer awards fro his efforts. He’ll certainly be giving someone at headache at Madrid in the future when it comes to finding a place in the squad for him!
The White Category
Mink Peeters - (Lleida Esportiu, Segunda División B)
Mink Peeters is still struggling to catch a break. He did manage to make his Copa Del Rey debut, and make a league appearance, but hasn’t managed anything more. In-fact, he’s even been fielded for the clubs B team to try and get more minutes. For someone who was so highly rated, and was Real Madrid’s saviour in the UEFA Youth League not so long ago, this is a surprise. Below are some of his highlights from a failed loan move last season. He so obviously has an absurd level of talent, I’m just not sure why it doesn’t seem to be going his way. The clubs handling of him can again be brought into consideration, as Mink is a perfect fit for Castilla, even now. Hopefully it turns around for him soon.
Pablo Margallo - (Unión Adarve, Segunda División B)
After signing the midfielder from an amateur club this summer, not much is known about Pablo Margallo. He was sent straight out on loan to third division side Unión Adarve, but has barely played since. If he has aspirations to break into the Castilla side at some point in the future then he’ll have to break into the team and more.
Lin Liangming - (Almería (B), La Liga2/Segunda División B)
Lin Liangming has had a really good start to the season with Almería. For their B team, he opened his account in the third division recording a goal and an assist in a 2-1 win over Marbella. He has since carved out another two goals and an assist for the reserves. It doesn’t end there. He has been called up for the first team on numerous occasions, and managed to make two scrapper in the Copa Del Rey for them. He even earned his first assist for them against Malaga, in an important win! Although records are difficult to trace, he is still very much involved with China’s international set up. Ever since leaving Madrid Lin has made some decent progress, and it only looks like it will carry on this season!
That caps an end to the first ever loan tracker! The next one will consist of around a month and a half’s worth of games, before we will finally be able to settle into a monthly routine. If you want to see the current category list then click here. It it tough to get into too much detail when there are so many players to cover, but luckily for you Kiyan Sobhani and Matt Wiltse regularly go into all the detail you need on their podcast. I too often get in on the discussion, so be sure tune into those. There have been some fantastic stories from Real Madrid’s loanees so far this season, and I strongly believe there will be turnarounds for some of the stragglers. We can only wait and see, until then - see you next time!