When Brahim Diaz returned to Spain, departing Manchester City to join Real Madrid, he will likely have known he wasn’t going to be the first name on the team sheet. That became especially apparent six months later when Los Blancos broke their transfer record to bring in Eden Hazard for an initial £89m. However, the 20-year-old will likely have been expecting to feature for more than the 60 minutes he mustered in La Liga on route to Zinedine Zidane’s side lifting the title.
To say Diaz has been peripheral this season is an understatement, as he has started just one match, the Copa Del Ray defeat to Real Sociedad, and made eight appearances from the bench. At 20-years-old the Spaniard has time to develop but considering he has played a meagre 20 league games, most of which he’s appeared as a substitute, across the past three seasons, he may be in search of some regular first-team action.
Enter West Ham, and the Irons have been linked with a loan move for the Spanish prospect in the Sunday Mirror (print edition, page 77), which could be a deal that benefits both parties. The exciting young talent would have a greater chance of starting matches in David Moyes’ side, especially considering Felipe Anderson and Manuel Lanzini failed to provide a significant influence this term, scoring once between them.
Along with the likes of Jarrod Bowen and Grady Diangana, who secured promotion to the Premier League while on loan with West Bromwich Albion, Diaz could be part of a new look, youthful Hammers side. The Spaniard is also already familiar with the division, having previously played for Manchester City, so there is a greater chance of him successfully reintegrating himself back to England.
A loan move back to a division where Diaz previously played could be the best move for the Spaniard’s development which has stalled in the Spanish capital. Real Madrid may be grateful to see the winger a year later with a full season of games under his belt, rather than the substitute appearances he is currently being offered at the Bernabeu.
Clearly there must be some potential that Moyes could unlock in Diaz, as both Pep Guardiola and Zidane have courted him in the past. Still, without the opportunity to feature regularly, he may never realise his potential. A move to the London Stadium could help the 20-year-old kick start his career while offering the Hammers an alternative out wide.