What is Brahim Díaz’s best role at Real Madrid?
Marco Asensio has opened a new chapter in his career, saying goodbye to Real Madrid and hello to Paris Saint-Germain, where he believes he will be a left-footed right-winger in no time. With Lionel Messi likely to return to Barcelona, Asensio’s importance to his new club could grow.
Although Real Madrid have been linked with some ambitious replacements, such as Bayer Leverkusen standout Moussa Diaby, they appear to have opted for the free option.
Reporting by Fabrizio Romano Brahim Díaz will return to Madrid after spending many seasons on loan at AC Milan, making his final first-team debut in the title-winning 2019/20 campaign. He will be offered a new contract which will take him through the 2026/27 season.
Brahim was part of a team that won the 2021/22 Serie A title and appeared in the semi-finals of this season’s Champions League. His time at Milan was successful, but despite making small improvements each season and playing a key role in the rotation, he never fully established himself as a reliable star.
So what can he offer Real Madrid? Is he strong enough to have an impact on Real Madrid?
Let’s see what role he can play for the biggest club in the world.
Brahim has started 27 games in Serie A this season and an additional eight in the Champions League, meaning this is his first official season. For Stefano Pioli, he was not a foolproof starter, however, the Spaniard was a regular presence in the Rossoneri’s starting XI.
The vast majority of these starts were attacking midfielders. Brahim started seven times on the right wing, where he had his chances but didn’t have enough pace or one-on-one ability to consistently impact games.
This is important for Real Madrid as their big needs are on the right wing. Rodrygo Goes will continue to start there, while Fede Valverde will play in a more defensive game. Brahim should have a chance to prove he can do the job wide, but he doesn’t seem to fit the standard winger for Madrid’s starting lineup as he is not athletic enough to receive the ball and create his own shots from those difficult positions. Yes, that’s a very high standard, but Brahim hasn’t lived up to it either on the wing at Milan over the years.
In attacking midfield, though, Brahim can change a game. He scored 6 goals and provided 7 assists for Milan, and although the contribution of these goals was inconsistent, in some games the 23-year-old took over the game. His close control and combo play is very elegant and makes up for the fact that he can’t finish his shots at times.
It’s important to remember that Brahim is only 23 years old and has the characteristics to be perfect against tight defenses. Brahim is one of the best attacking players in Europe, and he is good at forcing defenders to make mistakes, something Real Madrid can take advantage of. His lack of pace and power prevents him from being a winger, but his mobility and quickness make him excellent in the middle. Vinícius Júnior and Rodrygo Goes like to play with a center forward, and Brahim is that guy.
In the final analysis, Asensio is also a substitute player for Real Madrid. From a goalscoring standpoint, he proved to be a very effective guy with his ridiculous left foot. Brahim’s shooting ability is not perfect, but his six goals in the 2022/23 season show that he can make a difference in this area. Additionally, Brahim is bipedal, which allows him to be more mobile when shooting himself.
It appears that Brahim will be fully on the bench for Real Madrid, being asked to join the right winger. Carlo Ancelotti should know that Brahim is at his best in an attacking midfield role. His profile is number 10 not winger.
The more he can help Brahim play in tight spaces, the better. This could be beneficial for Brahim as a substitute later in the game and Carlo can help him by keeping the right-back and right-midfielders wider, helping Brahim move inside as a second striker.
Treating Brahim as a second striker rather than a right winger would be the Madrid manager’s best course of action.