Mariano Diaz – Scout Report
Tottenham Hotspur are in need of a striker, no doubts there. The Premier League runners-up had another excellent campaign, but the failure of summer signing Vincent Janssen to make any sort of serious impact has left the North Londoners in search of a new forward to operate as the backup for star attacker Harry Kane.
Plenty of names have been linked with a move to the Lilywhites. Now the latest player to be added to that list is a Real Madrid player. The twelve-time Champions League winners’ striker Mariano Diaz is reportedly looking for an exit from the Santiago Bernabeu, in search of more first-team football and prefers a move to Tottenham according to Diario Madridista.
The talented 23-year old hardly featured last season but impressed in the handful of chances he was afforded by manager Zinedine Zidane. He finished the season with 5 goals and 2 assists from 14 games across all competitions and with Karim Benzema and Alvaro Morata ahead of him in the pecking order, it is not hard to see why he is seeking an exit.
If Tottenham do sign him in the summer, what will they be getting from Mariano? Let’s take a look.
Born in Barcelona, Catalonia, on 01 August 1993, Mariano began his footballing journey by joining the youth academy of local club RCD Espanyol in 2002 as a 9-year old. Four years later, he moved to CE Premia, before joining up with Fundacio Sanchez Llibre in 2008.
A year later, Mariano was signed by CF Badalona, where he made his senior debut in the Segunda Division B in the year 2011, as an 18-year old. Not very long after, he was snapped up by Real Madrid, where he was made a part of the Madrid U-19 side. In 2012, he was promoted to the Real Madrid C side, playing in the third tier. After a slow start in his first year with the C-side, Mariano burst onto the scenes in his second term with the team, scoring 15 goals from 26 appearances.
His performances earned him a bump up to the Real Madrid Castilla (the Madrid reserve side) ahead of the 2014-15 season and he continued his rise with the team, displaying some excellent goal-scoring form. In his first full season with the reserves, Mariano scored 5 goals from 10 games, before impressing heavily in the second term as he finished the 2015-16 campaign with a wonderful tally of 27 goals from 32 games across all competitions.
His brilliant form for the reserves saw Zidane give him a call-up to the senior team in August last year and he made his Madrid senior debut against Celta Vigo in the same month. He finished the season with 5 goals as Los Blancos went on to win the La Liga title and the UEFA Champions League trophy.
Mariano was eligible to play international football for the Dominican Republic through his mother and he made his debut for them on 24 March 2013, in a friendly against Haiti, in which he scored as well. However, he retired soon after to avoid being tied as he expected a call-up from the Spain national team in the future.
Style of Play
An out and out explosive centre-forward, Mariano is known for the abundance of pace and power that he possesses.
Standing tall at close to 6ft, the 23-year old has a strong and sturdy physical frame that he uses well to bully the opposition defences. Mariano has a fierce right-foot and is an equally strong header of the ball too, making him a huge threat in and around the penalty box. With his pace combined with his dribbling ability and the power that he possesses, Mariano can brush aside defenders and run past them with nonchalance.
While he is explosive and dangerous with the ball at his feet, what makes Mariano even more exciting is his excellent movement off the ball and the ability to make those smart runs in behind the defenders. Strong physically, with great technical ability, Mariano possesses all the skills in his repertoire that can make him the next big thing to emerge from Real Madrid.
What Does The Future Hold?
The report claims that Mariano is not happy with the lack of first-team action at the Bernabeu and that he is seeking a move away. There have been speculations over the future of Alvaro Morata, with the Spaniard linked heavily with Manchester United. But even if that move does happen, Madrid will be expected to bring in a new star forward, meaning Mariano’s situation is unlikely to improve.
At Tottenham, Mariano will get more exposure and minutes in the first team while he will also be provided with a chance to work with one of the best young managers in Mauricio Pochettino – someone who has a great record in working with young players. At this time, a move to the North London makes good sense for the forward, while the club too would benefit from his innate talent.