Real Madrid: Zidane's loanee 'rejuvenation plan' for June
Achraf and Odegaard head the list of players loaned out that Los Blancos are looking to bring back into the first team to revitalise an ageing squad.
The summer of 2020 will see Real Madrid start a process of reconstruction of a squad in which there are seven players of the age of 30 or over. Sergio Ramos, Nacho, Marcelo, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema are all still part of Zinedine Zidane's set-up but the idea is that the team will have a fresh young facelift to begin next season.
Real Madrid's rejuvenation
It is time, those at the club believe, to reap the harvest of the loanee plants that have been sown, after some of the hottest young talent were picked up and sent out for experience. A gradual incorporation, however, rather than a total revolution, is what is desired, with the examples of Ferland Mendy and Fede Valverde pointed to. Both have naturally woven into the positions of two key players, Marcelo and Modric, and the team are enjoying the benefits.
This summer Achraf will complete his two-year loan at Borussia Dortmund, and there are no doubts in Spain that he is ready to return and perform with his parent club. There is even more certainty in this with Zidane on the bench, the manager who opted for him to take a place in the first team when he was only 18 years old (back in the 2017-18 season). The experience that he has acquired in the Bundesliga is valued greatly, which has seen him score three goals and provide seven assists in the 28 games he played in the first campaign, and six goals and seven assists in the 31 games to date this season.
An increase in his attacking contribution of late is due to the fact that he has been used more as a winger, on both flanks, than a full-back (21 of 31 games). That, however, is not likely to continue at Madrid where he is expected to return to his usual position.
Los Blancos, as part of bringing him back to the club, will also negotiate with him an improvement to his current contract based on the new role, and stature, that he will have. The player, however, wants to talk to Zidane first because he wants assurances over his importance to the first team. Dortmund, though, will make another effort to secure the player for a stay in the Bundelsiga, as they did last summer. The Spanish club have no intention to entertain that scenario.
The Norwegian youngster's loan spell ends the following summer but Madrid see him as a key part of their first team next season after his blistering performances for Real Sociedad. Like Dortmund, the Basque club would prefer to hold onto the talent that has aided their campaign and they will attempt to find a way to extend his stay for another year in San Sebastian. Following the recent clash between the two teams, La Real president Jokin Aperribay said that he was confident Odegaard would delay his return, and that Madrid would allow that to happen.
There is a good relationship between the two clubs and it is believed that Madrid will put the decision into the hands of Odegaard himself. In the capital they understand that he will not want to miss the opportunity to delay any further being a part of the most successful club in world football.
The youngster has been having a good year in Seville, especially in the first half of the season, and that has overlapped with a relatively disappointing one for Marcelo in the capital. For this reason, Los Blancos had planned to bring him back into the fold this summer. The Real Madrid academy player, however, has some doubts.
His objective is still to star for the club where his early development began but after shining for Sevilla is not keen to return as a secondary figure under Zidane. And the French coach wasn't convinced by him before, despite his impressive performances, which led to him requesting that he be sent out on loan, and Mendy was brought in to challenge the Brazilian for the left-back role. If Reguilón doesn't believe he has the confidence of Zidane he wil ask for another loan spell, at Sevilla or elsewhere, to ensure more pitch time.
The Real Madrid board continues to have a lot of faith in the Spanish midfielder, but MIkel Arteta's arrival at Arsenal, following Unai Emery's dismissal, has hurt his playing time. In Ceballos' case, as with Reguilón, the talk he has with Zidane is going to be key.
The Frenchman was not prone to give him much playing time before and there will need to be some assurances made if he is to make a return to the Bernabéu.