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Nineteen-year-old Japan international Takefusa Kubo has joined Getafe on loan for the rest of the season from Real Madrid, the two Spanish La Liga clubs announced Friday.

The left-footed attacking midfielder spent the first half of the season on loan at third-place Villarreal but found playing time hard to come by under their manager Unai Emery, with just two starts in 13 league appearances without scoring a goal.

Kubo was given chances in the Europa League, with the youngster starting all five group-stage games and scoring one goal. But he never won a regular berth in the side, and was often deployed in an unfamiliar role on the left side of the pitch.

Kubo joined Spanish giant Real Madrid in the summer of 2019 and spent last season on loan at Mallorca, where he scored four goals and assisted on four in 35 league matches. Mallorca was eventually relegated.

Getafe, former home of Gaku Shibasaki, who is currently at second-tier Leganes, is a midsize club with a history of taking young players on loan from Real Madrid. Getafe finished eighth last season but is currently in 16th place.

Kubo played for Barcelona’s youth teams before returning to Japan, where he played for Yokohama F Marinos and FC Tokyo. He was the second-youngest player to debut for Japan’s national team at 18 years and 5 days, and is expected to be a mainstay at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.

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