Following Brahim Diaz’s £21m move to Real Madrid, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has revealed his side of the situation.
Diaz had been at City since 2013 but a lack of game time saw him choose to leave for Los Blancos.
Who is Brahim Diaz? Five things to know…
- Diaz is a creative, attacking midfielder can also play out wide if needed.
- He was highly rated at Manchester City and made his debut in 2016 had since only made 15 first team appearances.
- He starred at the 2017 Under-17 Euros, scoring three goals to help Spain to the final.
- Real Madrid paid an initial £15.5m for his services as his contract was due to expire this summer.
- City are no strangers to losing youngsters over a lack of game time as Jadon Sancho has proven it can be found elsewhere at Dortmund.
The departure of Diaz is not a situation with which Guardiola is unfamiliar, and the Manchester City boss didn’t seem too upset by the transfer.
Speaking to BBC Sport he said: “I don’t want people who don’t want to stay here to be with us.
“Hopefully other players won’t decide to move on. If players want to stay, the door is open for them.”
Should Phil Foden follow suit?
Although Guardiola says the door may be open, on the outside looking in it doesn’t always come across that way.
In a side that are trying to defend their Premier League title, where will valuable minutes come for youngsters trying to break into the squad? Phil Foden remains the brightest prospects at City, one Guardiola will not for a second consider sending out on loan. However, having played just 93 minutes in the league, Foden is still mostly limited to cup-competition appearances and less meaningful Champions League ties.
The 18-year-old did not start Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final against Burton Albion, with Guardiola explaining: “David Silva needs minutes. In the last two or three weeks, he has been injured and Kevin as well so that’s why I decided for them, but after 15 minutes of the second half Phil came on.”
Aro Muric and Eric Garcia did start in goal and at centre-back respectively, helping City keep a clean sheet.
Could Diaz become Real Madrid’s next star?
🔵 All the best. pic.twitter.com/1qnJfNtrif
— Brahim (@Brahim) January 6, 2019
As mentioned above, Diaz will be following in the footsteps of Jadon Sancho in leaving City for a chance to establish himself as a first-team player in another of Europe’s top five leagues.
On this subject, Guardiola added: “We did the same with Brahim as we did with Phil and Jadon. They are important players but the only one who decided to stay was Phil.
“Some players have patience, some don’t. The players, their family, their agent; they decide what is best for them.
“Young players need time – David Silva for example, went on loan to big clubs to become what he is now.”
Currently fourth in La Liga, Los Blancos’ senior players aren’t meeting public expectations. Factor in the intense speculation surrounding Isco’s Real Madrid future and it appears the stage could be set for Diaz to have some kind of impact. You only need look at Marco Asensio’s rapid rise over the past several years to see that there is a way to break into Real Madrid’s first team. This season’s rising star has been Marcos Llorente, who made seven consecutive appearances before suffering a thigh injury in January.
Being a Spaniard playing Spain will provide the kind of visibility that could help Diaz’s cause when trying to break into the national side. Often it has been said that there is a La Liga bias when it comes to national team selection, which could explain why Juan Mata, Santi Cazorla, David Silva and others did not get as many caps as their talent deserved.