Real Madrid players on loan: How Bale, Odegaard and Co. are performing

Martin Macdonald
Martin Macdonald
  • Updated: 19 May 2021 15:43 BST
  • 6 min read
Real Madrid players on loan: How Bale, Odegaard and Co. are performing

Real Madrid have allowed a number of first-team players to go out on loan in the 2020/21 season for a variety of reasons.

Whether it be to aid their development, get more game time, or in the case or Gareth Bale, get their wages off the books, Los Blancos have significantly trimmed down their squad by allowing players to leave the club on a temporary basis.

Out of any of the major clubs in Europe, Real Madrid arguably have the most high profile players out on loan – some of whom could arguably be doing a job for them in La Liga.

So, how are they all faring out on loan?

Gareth Bale

Probably the most high profile loan deal in Europe at the moment sees Bale on loan at Tottenham from Real Madrid.

The Welshman hasn’t been trusted at Madrid under Zinedine Zidane for a while now and nearly left the club two summers ago for the Chinese Super League before that deal didn’t materialise.

After spending another season treading water at the Santiago Bernabeu, he eventually moved back to Tottenham in the summer of 2020.

It has taken Bale a long, long, time to find his feet back in North London as fitness and form issues kept him from reaching the heights which made him a hero at Spurs in the first place.

Recently, though, he has looked like the Bale of old, and recently scored two goals against Crystal Palace to take his tally to 10 goals in 14 starts in all competitions.

He has left it late, but if he keeps this form up, Tottenham very may well make the move permanent.

Martin Odegaard

Martin Odegaard’s two-year loan spell at Real Sociedad was cut short at the halfway point in the summer after Zidane made it clear he wanted the Norwegian as part of his squad for the new campaign.

He would subsequently start the first two league games of the season, only to be dropped from the starting XI thereafter, only making one subsequent appearance from the opening whistle.

Martin Odegaard made his Arsenal debut against Man Utd

Martin Odegaard made his Arsenal debut against Man Utd

In January, Odegaard requested to leave Madrid on a loan deal in order to get some valuable first team minutes, with a return to Real Sociedad looking likely.

However, Arsenal swooped in and brought him to the Premier League, where he had made a solid impression so far.

He has started three games so far and recorded one assist, but there is suddenly plenty of competition for places in the attacking midfield positions at Arsenal now, with Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe, and Willian all vying for minutes alongside him.

Luka Jovic

Luka Jovic simply wasn’t starting enough games at Real Madrid following a barren goalscoring spell since his big money move from Eintracht Frankfurt a couple of summers ago.

In January he would complete a loan move to the Bundesliga side to, well, not start enough games.

Though he has scored three goals and recorded one assist so far, Jovic has started just two games in the Bundesliga since his return, with the high-flying Andre Silva being preferred in the centre-forward role.

The Serbian has displayed glimpses of his quality, but nothing regarding his future will be settled upon while he is sitting on the bench.

Brahim Diaz

With Milan fighting in the Europa League as well as Serie A this season, Brahim Diaz has become a valuable member of the first team squad, with talk of the Rossoneri extending his loan into next season.

He has made 27 appearances for Milan in 2020/21 with 10 of them coming from the star, and in that time he has scored four and set up a further two.

If Stefano Pioli was to play his strongest XI it probably wouldn’t feature Diaz, however, which begs the question as to whether Real Madrid will attempt to generate funds this summer by offloading him.

He has done okay at San Siro without pulling up any trees.

Dani Ceballos

Before there was Odegaard on loan at Arsenal from Real Madrid, there was Dani Ceballos.

The Spaniard is on a two-year loan at the Emirates but is yet to find the back of the net in the Premier League, while he has recorded just four assists in 29 starts.

Capable of a moment of brilliance one minute, followed by a moment one madness in possession the next, it appears Mikel Arteta doesn’t trust him fully to boss the midfield which is why he spent heavily on Thomas Partey in the summer.

With Granit Xhaka looking better, too, then Ceballos isn’t first choice in midfield.

Takefusa Kubo at Villarreal

Takefusa Kubo at Villarreal

Takefusa Kubo

Takefusa Kubo spent the first half of the 2020/21 season on loan at Villarreal where it was thought head coach Unai Emery would give him minutes to help his development into the player Real Madrid hope he will become.

He would subsequently start just six games in La Liga, with five of his other starts coming in the Europa League.

Real Madrid decided to terminate the deal with Villarreal and loan him out somewhere else, in this case Getafe.

Kubo has already started as much games at Getafe in the league as he did at Villarreal, but he has not scored or assisted a goal yet.


When Real Madrid didn’t have room for Reinier in their La Liga squad due to his status as a non-EU player, a loan move to Borussia Dortmund materialised.

The two clubs had success in dealings previously, with Dortmund developing Achraf Hakimi into one of the most exciting wing-backs in Europe following a two-year spell in Germany.

Reinier arrived at Dortmund with an even bigger reputation, but the move has been a disaster as he has failed to start a single game in any competition this campaign.

His substitute appearances have accumulated to just 190 minutes of football.

Borja Mayoral

Perennial Real Madrid loanee Borja Mayoral received a higher profile temporary move this summer after joining Roma until the end of the season.

The Spaniard has performed admirably, scoring 11 goals in 18 starts with six of them coming in Serie A.

He has naturally had issues trying to force talismanic forward Edin Dzeko out of the starting XI in the centre-forward position, but there is speculation that Roma could look to make the move permanent with the Bosnian set to be 35 by the time the 2021/22 season in Italy kicks off.

Jesus Vallejo

Once tipped to be Sergio Ramos’ successor in the Real Madrid defence and a favourite of Football Manager players everywhere, Jesus Vallejo has so far failed to live up to expectations at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Since 2015 he has been on loan at Real Zaragoza, Eintracht Frankfurt, Wolves, and now Granada.

The move to the Premier League with Wolves was meant to be the one to see him reach his potential, but injuries and a lack of trust from head coach Nuno Espirito Santo meant he started just one game for Wolves in the English top flight.

At the moment, he is on loan at Granada, where he is at least getting plenty of game time.