After hopping around several teams in Spain during recent seasons, Takefusa Kubo finally has a permanent home after Real Sociedad bought the Japanese youngster outright from Real Madrid this summer.
It appears to be paying dividends. Kubo has started the season in fine form. In addition to 3 goal-creating actions and 1 goal of his own, he ranks 8th in La Liga for carries into the box. Those numbers are just evidence of revitalised forward though, who looks dangerous every time he gets the ball.
On top of that, he looks far more engaged off the ball and his intense pressing has been notable this season. From it, Alexander Sorloth scored against Espanyol this past weekend, as Kubo beat Espanyol goalkeeper Alvaro Fernandez to the ball. Kubo recounted to Diario AS why he decided to sprint and press Fernandez.
“I remembered in preseason I had a similar one against Athletic and in the end I didn’t go. It came to mind that he [the goalkeeper] might control it badly and that I could go for that ball.”
“Initially, as I ended up on the floor, I was going to ask to take the penalty. But then I saw everyone returning to the middle of the pitch and I realised it was a goal.”
Kubo was then asked why exactly it was that he was doing so well for Real Sociedad this season, with whom he reached 100 appearances in La Liga at the weekend.
“I can’t explain very well what is happening to me either. I think, I remember when I was here in the hotels in preseason thinking that there was nothing else, that this could be my last chance to make that jump as a footballer. And at the moment, I think I am accomplishing what they expected of me.”
That realisation looks to be serving him well. Previous spells at Real Mallorca twice, Getafe and Villarreal saw him expose glimpses of his quality, but never the player that has been seen so far at La Real. If he can continue it, Imanol Alguacil might have picked up one of the most dangerous players in Spain on the cheap.