Almost a year after leaving Manchester City for Real Madrid as a result of lack of playing time, Brahim Diaz finds himself in a difficult position at the Santiago Bernabeu. Unable to stake a claim for a place in Zinedine Zidane’s starting lineup (as was the case with Pep Guardiola at City), the young attacking midfielder must make a hard decision concerning his development. Lagging behind the likes of Eden Hazard, Gareth Bale, Lucas Vázquez, James Rodriguez and Vinicius Jr. in the pecking order, it’s unlikely he will get a chance to play regular first-team football for Los Blancos anytime soon.
The club is reported to have suggested a loan move to a smaller club for the 20-year-old, where he can get regular playing time but he is not ready to leave the side. City offered him the same option in order to aid his development but he turned it down. Guardiola had to sanction his sale to the Spanish giants to avoid letting him leave for free at the expiration of his contract.
After facilitating the move, his then agent Pere Guardiola (Pep’s brother) stopped managing the player. His father Sufiel Abdelkader then took over his management and has been a key factor in the youngster’s decision. It would be recalled that the same scenario played out at City leading up to the move.
Sufiel believes that his son only needs to bid his time in the team and his time to feature regularly will come. But the break out of Brazilian youngster Rodrygo Goes who scored a hat-trick for the side against Galatasaray in the Champions League on Wednesday adds even more competition for the City academy graduate. It’s now clear that Diaz will have to wait a long time before cementing his place in the side, if he will ever do.
Having played just nine minutes of football in La Liga this season, it remains to be seen if he will finally decide to move elsewhere for regular playing time. With several Madrid young players out on loan, he will be following the footsteps of some that are as talented, if not more than he is. A good example that comes to mind is Norwegian wonderkid Martin Odegaard who is having a good time at Real Sociedad after failing to secure a place in the first team at the Santiago Bernabeu.
So far, the idea of leaving City to play regularly for Madrid has not materialised. Diaz must have learned first hand that the grass is not always greener on the other side.
Patience is a virtue after all.