Real Madrid prodigy Takefusa Kubo has revealed that Zinedine Zidane wanted to keep him at the Santiago Bernabéu this season.
The 18-year-old only joined Real Madrid during the summer transfer window and despite impressing during pre-season, Kubo left on a season-long loan to join RCD Mallorca.
Kubo has made 15 appearances for Vicente Moreno’s side this season, but the Japan international star has revealed Real Madrid manager Zidane actually wanted to keep him in the first-team at the Santiago Bernabéu.
“When the tour of North America ended, Zidane told me that he wanted me to stay at Real Madrid this season,” Kubo said, quoted by Marca.
“But I spoke to Zidane and asked him that if there was a chance to have more game time then I’d like to leave on loan.”
Kubo, who previously spent four years as part of Barcelona’s La Masia academy, controversially signed a five-year contract with Real Madrid upon completing a free transfer from FC Tokyo.
Tipped for eventual superstardom, the 18-year-old is Real Madrid’s first-ever Japanese player. Kubo opened up about what it was like before his first training session with Los Blancos.
“I was very nervous on the day before my first training session with Real Madrid, it was scary having lost my confidence,” he added.
“But I started to train with my teammates every day and, bit by bit, I got used to the team.”
Since joining Mallorca on loan, Kubo has made 15 appearances in La Liga where he’s scored one goal and picked up two assists.
The teenager’s first senior goal in Europe came during a 3-1 win over Villarreal CF – Mallorca’s most recent win – where he also set up Lago Júnior’s opener.
Kubo is among a host of top talents who are out on loan and will return to Real Madrid over the next 18 months, along with Achraf Hakimi (Borussia Dortmund), Sergio Reguilón (Sevilla), Óscar Rodríguez (CD Leganés) and Martin Ødegaard (Real Sociedad).