During Florentino Perez’s two stints as Real Madrid president, the club have been renowned for buying great players rather than developing them.
Having overseen two eras of Galactico signings, including the likes of David Beckham, Luis Figo, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, the club went down a route in the summer of 2020 – the first time in 40 years they didn’t make a single summer signing.
While certain players were sent away with their wage bill in mind, there may be some belief others on their books will come good and make an impact in the future. Here’s how their seven players out on loan are faring in 2020-21.
A European Championship winner with Spain at Under-19 and Under-21 level, Ceballos stepped up at the senior level with some excellent performances at Real Betis before securing a move to the Bernabeu in 2017.
With that history, some talked up Ceballos as the man to transform Arsenal’s midfield. It hasn’t quite worked out that way, and he divides opinion somewhat but did enough to return to the Emirates for a second successive loan.
No Arsenal player has made more tackles than the Los Blancos loanee this season, while only Kieran Tierney has created more chances from open play.
READ: With two tackles and one turn, Dani Ceballos personified Arteta’s Arsenal
Part of the young Brazilian contingent along with Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior, the 18-year-old attacking midfielder is continuing his development at Borussia Dortmund this season.
It’s worked well enough for the likes of Jude Bellingham and Jadon Sancho, but he’s having to be patient. All eight of his competitive appearances have been brief cameos off the bench, totalling fewer than 100 minutes across the Bundesliga and Champions League.
According to reports, Madrid are looking to end the deal early and send the Brazilian on loan to Real Valladolid.
Once the world’s most expensive player, Bale might have expected to play more than a bit-part role on his return to the club where he first established himself as a superstar.
He certainly wouldn’t have daydreamed of playing at eighth-tier Marine while he was out on the sunny golf courses of Madrid.
The vast majority of his Spurs appearances this season have come in the cup competitions, with just one start in the Premier League so far. There’s a sense he’s lost the physical edge that allows him to start week-in, week-out, but he’s an undoubtedly useful squad player.
Watching Gareth Bale whilst leaning out my window. Unreal pic.twitter.com/iEFCHhMiyu
— Christopher (@Cmcm1991) January 10, 2021
Former Manchester City starlet Diaz never really got opportunities at Madrid after moving to the club two years ago. He’s finding himself with more game time at a resurgent AC Milan, making 20 appearances in all competitions.
He hasn’t lit the place up, but he’s quietly impressing with hints of fulfilling the potential that he was spoken of having whilst at City. The latest reports from the Italian media suggest the club want to sign him permanently.
Academy graduate striker Borja Mayoral is now onto his fourth loan away from his boyhood club. At the age of 23, there are questions as to whether he’ll ever breakthrough in the Spanish capital.
However, he’s doing reasonably well with limited opportunities at Roma, scoring six goals in all competitions at a rate of one every 120 minutes. Back-up to main man Edin Dzeko, he’s proving himself useful amid a hectic fixture schedule.
“Borja is a young player who we need to be patient with as he adapts,” Roma coach Paulo Fonseca said back in November after he scored two goals in a 5-0 win over CFR Cluj.
The Spanish media were characteristically full of debate over the highly-rated young Japan international’s lack of game time during the first half of the season on loan at Unai Emery’s Villarreal.
He made just two La Liga starts, with his appearances totalling just 293 minutes in the league, for the Yellow Submarine. There were more opportunities to be found in the Europa League group stage, where he caught the eye making three assists and scoring one goal from five starts.
That wasn’t good enough for his parent club, who have recalled him and sent him to Getafe for the remainder of the campaign. He’s only made one brief substitute appearance so far but has certainly made a good first impression.
READ: ‘Japanese Messi’ Takefusa Kubo only needed 30 mins to shine at Getafe
The Spanish centre-half has rarely had a look-in at his parent club in recent years, while last season’s loan at Wolves resulted in just two first-team appearances.
After Molineux, he spent the remainder of the campaign at newly-promoted surprise package Granada and is back there again this season.
Not only did he help steer the club to Europa League football, but he’s helped them through the group stage this season with a Round of 32 clash with Napoli to come. His last appearance was one to forget though as he sent off in a 4-0 defeat to Barcelona.