Real Madrid are no strangers to having some of the best talents in world football at their disposal. Martin Odegaard and Federico Valverde are mere examples. But they aren’t really known to produce Asian talents like Takefusa Kubo. He might be on loan at Mallorca currently, but Kuba is believed to have a bright future. He is certainly highly-rated by many betting agents and they are usually in the know.
Real aren’t the most known club for Asian players and that’s why Kubo being at the Santiago Bernabeu isn’t too ordinary. He’s a product of the Barcelona youth academy- strangely enough, but came to Real after his contract at J-League side FC Tokyo had ended in the summer of 2019.
As soon as the move to Real came about, Kubo was loaned out to Mallorca in a bit to see his development continue. Vinicius and Rodrygo Goes have come leaps and bounds in the wide positions and the loan for the Japanese made perfect sense. But having said that, there might not be a future for Kubo at Real Madrid.
Kubo has predominantly played as a right-winger for his club this season. While playing 22 La Liga games for them, he has a tally of two goals and three assists for Mallorca. His last game saw him grab a goal and an assist against Real Betis, while he also did the same against Villarreal early in the season. Without knowing how football odds work, you might think Kubo is worth a bet for first scorer as the odds would be very nice.
And that should ring bells for Real. While Mallorca are third-bottom in the league, the fact that his goals had a gap of as many as 11 games says that the 18-year-old is an inconsistent performer. He’s started consistently but the numbers have hardly gone up.
He has completed 1.3 dribbles per game this season, coming up with 0.9 key passes per game. It shows that while there might be an end product to his play, the output needs to go up. He needs to dribble more and try to get on the ball more.
He’s overperformed on his XG by just 0.72, underperforming on his XA by 0.07. It shows that the player might be good but he deserves to have the numbers he has and instead of there being a problem with him, there could an issue with Mallorca themselves.
They’ve constantly changed from a 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1 this season and that doesn’t help a young player like Kubo. They’ve created an XG of around 29- meaning that the attacking potential in the team is low in general. That isn’t something Kubo can benefit from. Because of that, his dribbling, goals and assists can be low.
With Real currently having Rodrygo and Vinicius firmly in the ranks, Kubo might have to spend another loan deal to prove himself fully at the Los Blancos. That club has enough competition for an 18-year-old to not develop well
While his impact at Mallorca may not be high, the club’s chief Maheta Molang has already been full of praise for him. He said earlier in the season:
“He’s super humble, super down to earth. It’s not easy to keep your feet on the ground when you’ve been a superstar since you were 10.
“Kubo is very focused, very professional. That’s also down to his family, they’re very humble and hard-working. His talent is obvious, but the reason why he will one day be a football superstar is his head.”
The fact that he’s already a first-team player for the Japanese national side shows that Molang could be right. He made his debut last year and was even featuring in the Copa America, where he played thrice. In total, he has seven national team appearances.
No matter what country a player is in, playing so much at 18 is extremely rare. And it points to immense talent- something Kubo does have. Whether his future lies at Real or not is questionable, but there are many more clubs where he can make an impact.