This article is part of Football FanCast’s Loan Watch series, which takes a closer look at those players who are aiming to galvanise their careers away from the spotlight of their parent club.
If things had gone to plan, Rafa Mir could have been lining up under Zinedine Zidane at the Bernabeu.
When at Valencia, the Spaniard had four offers for his services from Real Madrid turned down.
His career since that moment has gone downhill, moving to the Midlands and Wolves, rather than Spain’s capital.
Once a highly-rated youngster, the 22-year-old has witnessed a pretty bleak period in his so far short career.
Since arriving on English shores, he’s failed to score in 14 appearances. Four of those have come in the colours of Wolves while ten have seen him turn out for Nottingham Forest while out on loan.
A tall and technical player, the £2.7m-rated forward has never lived up to expectation, being cast aside as Nuno Santo’s men transitioned into a Premier League outfit.
Failing to cut it in the Championship with Wolves, he was never going to flourish in the Premier League but even a spell in Spain’s Segunda Division hasn’t rejuvenated him.
In 2018/19, Mir netted seven goals for Las Palmas, his first strikes since November 2017 when he scored against Elche for Valencia Mestalla, the equivalent of their reserve team.
Notching 25 in 59 outings for their youth ranks, there was clearly a player in there. However, we’re yet to see it in England.
Mir had impressed in brief glimpses at Las Palmas, even scoring an instinctive flicked goal, but Wolves’ decision not to make him part of their plans heading into 2019/20 has already been entirely vindicated.
He’s managed just one start on loan at Forest and has played a not so grand total of 138 minutes. In that time, he’s got a shoddy pass success rate of 69% and his inability to hit the target from 1.4 shots per game is worrying.
This doesn’t look like the type of player that Real Madrid would ever try to lure away from Valencia. Instead, he appears a frustrated and dejected figure.
When next summer arrives, it wouldn’t be a great surprise if Wolves’ stance becomes even harsher and they sell him permanently.