Real Madrid were given a harsh reality check in their Champions League semi-final first leg against Manchester City on Wednesday night.
The La Liga giants were completely overrun in midfield and offered little threat down the wings as they succumbed to a 4-0 hammering at the Etihad Stadium.
The heavy defeat has sent shockwaves through the Santiago Bernabeu boardroom. While the transfer market will likely be explored to strengthen the squad, a more immediate solution could come from within.
According to reports, Brahim Diaz is on the verge of signing a contract extension, with only minor details left to finalize.
The talented 23-year-old midfielder has spent this season on loan at AC Milan, where his performances have caught the eye.
Diaz has netted five goals and provided five assists in 30 Serie A appearances for the Rossoneri, averaging around 60 minutes of action per game. He has also created nine ‘big chances’ and averages over one key pass per match.Stats from Fbref
With his loan spell in Milan set to end in June, Diaz will return to Real Madrid, where he remains under contract until 2025.
While the length of his new deal is still to be confirmed, the prospect of him featuring more prominently under Carlo Ancelotti next season now looks increasingly likely following their European embarrassment.
Diaz is naturally an attack-minded central midfielder, though he is also capable of playing out wide. He first made an impression at Real Madrid operating on the wing, but his talents could now be better utilized through the middle given their lack of control in that area of the pitch against City.
Real Madrid Prioritizes Contract Extension for Brahim Diaz
Ancelotti may see the value in developing the young Spaniard next campaign as Los Blancos look to plug the gaps that were so ruthlessly exposed.
Brahim Diaz seemingly has the quality and dynamism to provide fresh impetus, especially if paired alongside experienced heads like Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.
While the defeat was a collective failure, revitalizing an underused asset like Diaz could prove a shrewd move.