“I’m lucky to be here,” says Brahim Diaz / Under-21 Spain international’s glorious career rebirth in Italy


Brahim Diaz

Rough beginnings

The story of Brahim Diaz is a concerning one to begin with. Signing for Manchester City at just 16 years-of-age, Diaz represented a push from City to identify young talent and develop them.

There are examples of flourishing talents amongst Pep Guardiola’s team of multi-million pound stars. Phil Foden has been brought through the academy from the age of 8 and Eric Garcia was signed from Barcelona at a similar age to Diaz.

However, similarly to Garcia’s current situation, Diaz wanted to leave. The Spaniard had failed to agree a new contract despite Guardiola telling the media that the club were doing “absolutely everything” to keep him.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 16: Pep Guardiola, manager of Manchester City speaks to the media during the press conference at Manchester City Football Academy on August 16, 2019 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

Whilst Garcia was unable to secure a move back to Barcelona this summer, Diaz did secure a £15 million deal to Real Madrid in January 2019.

However, in the 2019/20 campaign, Diaz only managed 59 minutes of La Liga football. A loan was imperative for Diaz to stop the decline of the wide-man’s ability and reputation.

Diaz agreed to join AC Milan on a season-long loan deal and has already more than doubled his league minutes this season.

Back again

The move to Milan has led to a complete turnaround of the Spaniard’s fortunes in a short space of time. Diaz has represented the Spanish under-21 national team on one occasion. However, he has failed to be called up again for over a year.

Back in January, under-21 coach Luis de la Fuente spoke about the need for Diaz and fellow Los Blancos youngster Jesús Vallejo to get game time before he could select them.

“Regarding Jesús Vallejo and Brahim the most important thing is that these young players play and I wish they had that opportunity in a club.”

Milan have given Diaz that opportunity. Playing in all three of the Rossoneri’s opening league games Diaz has already scored.

The minutes meant de la Fuente recalled Diaz and in an interview with Marca, his excitement was palpable.

I’m really looking forward to it. It is always a pleasure and a pride to be able to return to the national team. I’m lucky to be here,” said the 21-year-old.

Diaz was asked about his relationship with Zidane and how things were left with the Frenchman before he departed.

I have a lot of affection for him and I know that he also loves me,” remarked Diaz confidently. “He has always given me good advice. He told me to be me, to enjoy and teach my good football.

Diaz will hope he can continue his great form for Milan into the national setup. The Spaniard has been given a second chance and looks to be grabbing it with both hands.

See also: European transfer roundup: Bayern, PSG & Juventus all make moves/Barcelona miss out

This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Everton FC 4 7 12
2 Aston Villa FC 3 9 9
3 Leicester City FC 4 5 9
4 Arsenal FC 4 3 9
5 Liverpool FC 4 0 9
6 Tottenham Hotspur FC 4 7 7
7 Chelsea FC 4 4 7
8 Leeds United 4 1 7
9 Newcastle United FC 4 1 7
10 West Ham United FC 4 4 6
11 Southampton FC 4 -1 6
12 Crystal Palace FC 4 -2 6
13 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 4 -3 6
14 Manchester City FC 3 -1 4
15 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 4 -2 3
16 Manchester United FC 3 -6 3
17 West Bromwich Albion 4 -8 1
18 Burnley FC 3 -5 0
19 Sheffield United FC 4 -5 0
20 Fulham FC 4 -8 0
Player Team Goals
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 6
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 6
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 5
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 5
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 4
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 4
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 3
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 3
Rodriguez, James Everton FC 3
Jorginho Chelsea FC 3
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 3
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 3
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 3
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 3
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 3
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 3
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United FC 3
Costa, Helder Leeds United 2
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 2
Klich, Mateusz Leeds United 2

Source: 101greatgoals.com