He came to Leverkusen as one of the biggest striker promises. At the moment, however, Iker Bravo is just a big mystery
According to Spanish online platform Relevo, Real Madrid are considering ending the loan of center forward Iker Bravo, which runs until the summer of 2024, this winter. The reason for this is that the 18-year-old has not even come close to fulfilling Madrid’s expectations.
In the meantime, he has even been transferred back to the club’s U19s from their second team, which is coached by former Schalke professional Raul and for whom Iker Bravo has not yet played a game this season. And even there, the highly talented attacker does not have a regular place
Last chance until the end of the year
Iker Bravo is not showing the desired consistency and will now be given one last chance to prove himself as a player at Real level until the end of the year. The problems of the highly gifted talent, who transferred to Leverkusen from FC Barcelona’s U16s on a free transfer in 2021, are not primarily due to his fundamental sporting qualities, but to his attitude and his temperament, which always gets the better of him far too quickly
The latter, combined with considerable personal adjustment problems, made it difficult for him to integrate in Germany. At Real, Iker Bravo recently received two sending-offs within a short space of time. According to Relevo, the player shed tears after the second one because he felt he had been treated unfairly
Cancellation of the purchase option currently ruled out
What happens next with Iker Bravo remains to be seen. If he breaks his loan, Real would have to pay a contractual penalty, which would make a separation more difficult, according to reports. The possibility of Real exercising the purchase option in the summer, which is said to be in the double-digit million range, is currently ruled out.
Iker Bravo is therefore facing the end at Real. If he doesn’t get his act together, he will be under contract with Bayer again from July 2024 at the latest. But his prospects in Leverkusen are considered poor to non-existent
Language barrier as the biggest obstacle
Only Iker Bravo’s compatriot Xabi Alonso and his Spanish-speaking coaching team could act as the final solution for the 18-year-old, who has shown no real willingness to learn German at Leverkusen and speaks little English. Under a German-speaking coach, it is said, an attempt would be futile anyway.
However, a premature return to Bayer 04 in the winter would not really leave room for Iker Bravo in the Bundesliga squad, which includes two top center forwards in Patrik Schick and Victor Boniface. Even if Boniface plays with Nigeria at the Africa Cup in early 2024, Iker Bravo would not be in a position to at least be considered the first alternative on the nine in view of a player like Adam Hlozek.
This would leave Iker Bravo with only the U19s at Leverkusen, from which he was loaned out to Real due to the problems described above.