January is always a quieter time for football club’s and players alike, as they enjoy some time off from the holiday’s, and in some cases even a mini winter break from fixtures. Even though everybody has played less games this month, there have still been some fantastic moments - resulting in a new star player for the month! The new year has also brought about some change for some, and an opportunity for new beginnings. Read on below, and enjoy!
The Gold Category
Martin Ødegaard - (Vitesse Arnhem, Eredivisie)
Another strong month for Martin. He spent the first half of January participating in two friendlies, scoring in one against Dundalk. When Vitesse finally got back down to business he put in an excellent performance against Excelsior, registering two assists. His performance in the cup against AZ was a wobble, but he redeemed himself against Fortuna Sittard in the league despite the disappointing result for the team. They currently sit in fifth place, but will be striving for that fourth spot behind the big boys.
Borja Mayoral - (Levante, La Liga)
Played the most games out of anyone on this loan list, but didn’t get up to much in that time. It has to be said, he and the team had a hard schedule; facing Sevilla, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona twice within the same month. Borja did manage to achieve one moment of significance however, a game winning goal against Barcelona in the cup. It ultimately meant nothing as the Catalans prevailed in the second leg, but it was certainly important for Mayoral and his future opportunities at the club.
Aleix Febas - (Albacete, La Liga2)
An established figure in the Albacete midfield, Aleix started all of the promotion chasing sides games in January. With a game in hand they can still climb as high as third, but they have seen their performances sink a tad - winning none of the three games played this year (They were awarded an automatic win against the penalised Reus Deportiu). Aleix personally has not had his best month for the club, but this will probably act as nothing more than a bump in the road.
Álvaro Tejero - (Albacete, La Liga2)
Tejero has fared slightly better this month. He claimed two important assists in two consecutive games, as Albacete drew 1-1 against Granada and Sporting Gijón. The loss against fellow play-off contenders Deportivo was a blip, but like Febas it is unlikely to change much for the trajectory of this talent.
The Silver Category
Raúl de Tomás - (Rayo Vallecano, La Liga)
The latest star man of this instalment. Raúl de Tomás started off his year right. He banged in a La Liga hat-trick against Celta Vigo, before scoring the winning goal against Alavés. His overall performances were strong as well and he was the focal point to Rayo’s attack. Winning three out of their four January fixtures (drawing the fourth) took Rayo out of the relegation zone, and de Tomás was an absolutely vital factor in that happening. These goals took Raúl into the Rayo Vallecano hall of fame as he entered the club’s top ten goalscorers in history list! Wow. With four goals in four games this man takes the star loanee player award for January! You can see his hat-trick below!
Óscar Rodríguez - (Leganés, La Liga)
Óscar may not have picked up any goals or assist again, but he certainly further cemented his stature as an established La liga player. He started every league game, including the match against Barcelona which escalated him to stardom during the mirrored fixture earlier in the season. He likely would have played in a further two games, but Madrid did not allow him to feature against them in the Copa Del Rey. During the player ratings after the game I joked that we wouldn’t want Óscar making Solari look as bad as Solari made Óscar look for Castilla.
Andriy Lunin - (Leganés, La Liga)
Clean Sheets: 0
Another troubling month for Lunin at Leganés. He made no appearances, and was not allowed to gain further vital minutes in the cup against Real Madrid at the request of his parent side. On top of that, Leganés signed a new goalkeeper, pushing Lunin’s chance at relevant minutes even further down the gutter. February will be a telling month for this young player.
The Bronze Category
Lusimi Quezada - (Córdoba, La Liga2)
Although he didn’t make waves this month, he did regain his starting spot which is an important step. He started three out of Córdoba’s four games, only missing one in the middle through illness. Córdoba have been helped in a way with the downfall of Reus Deportiu, but still looked pretty doomed and destined for relegation. If Quezada can continue to sustain his starting spot then it can be at least a beneficial season for him personally.
Sergio Díaz - (Corinthians, Brasileiro Série A)
Still out injured. He has played as many games as he would have anyway.
Achraf Hakimi - (Borussia Dortmund, Bundesliga)
Achraf enjoyed an extended holiday for Dortmund, but came back with a bang. He claimed a brilliant goal and an assist against Hannover in a 5-1 win, and also played well in the big win against Red Bull Leipzig. Dortmund and Achraf get back to their normal routine next month as they look to keep their place at the top of the table!
Achraf Hakimi vs. Hannover 96:— RMadridHome (@RMadridHome_) January 26, 2019
105 Touches (most)
5/8 Long Balls
88.2% Pass Accuracy
2 Times Fouled
1 Key Pass
1 Aerial Duel Won
1 Goal ⚽️
The gift that keeps on giving pic.twitter.com/Cud85kUA6d
The White Category
Mink Peeters - (Lleida Esportiu, Segunda División B)
Mink was aiming to knuckle down and really try and work his way into the side this year, but it has not worked out for him. After making no appearances this month, he was recalled by Real Madrid yesterday. Depending on what happens to him for the remainder of this season, he may no longer be needed on this list. In reality he should go straight into the Castilla squad for the rest of a season that has nothing left to strive for. We will see!
Pablo Margallo - (Unión Adarve, Segunda División B)
No further appearances for Pablo Margallo either. To be fair, he wasn’t allowed to play in the loss to Castilla last week, but he would surely have been hoping to feature a little more elsewhere. Perhaps it’s time for him to assess his options also.
Lin Liangming - (Almería (B), La Liga2/Segunda División B)
Lin has continued to make progress with Almería, and although he didn’t make any first team squads this month - he did feature fully for the B team. He managed to record an assist against Talavera, and will be looking to push on to ensure his time with B teams is over after this summer.
That draws an end to the beginning of 2019! It is brilliant to see Luismi Quezada regain his starting spot, as well as Raúl de Tomás really start to make a name for himself. If Real Madrid prove that they are capable of making the right decision, then this could be a great second half of the season for Mink Peeters at Castilla! Pablo Margallo and Andriy Lunin are going to have to dig deep to get an opportunities in the near future, however. Remember, if you want to have a look at the current category list, which may well be changing very soon, then you can do so by clicking here. Which Real Madrid talent are you rooting for this year?