Omar Mascarell wants Real Madrid's Mariano Diaz to join him at Frankfurt
Ex-Real Madrid midfielder Omar Mascarell says his former youth team colleague Mariano Diaz should join him now at Eintracht Frankfurt to get regular football.
Mascarell and Mariano, both 23, came through the ranks together at the Bernabeu and were teammates at Madrid's Castilla youth side during the 2013-14 season.
Canary Island-born midfielder Mascarell then had loan spells at Derby County and Sporting Gijon, before last July joining Frankfurt, where he is currently playing regularly alongside on-loan Madrid youngster Jesus Vallejo in a team which is contending towards the top of the Bundesliga standings.
After being promoted to Zinedine Zidane's first team last summer, Mariano has had limited playing time, but last December brought a Copa del Rey hat trick against La Cultural Leonesa and a substitute appearance in the 1-1 La Liga Clasico at Barcelona.
Speaking in AS, Mascarell said that a January loan move might now suit all concerned.
"We were teammates and [Mariano] would be very good for us," he said. "Here [at Frankfurt] he could play regular games. With him and with Vallejo we would be a perfect trio."
Teenage centre-back Vallejo has been a revelation in his first six months in the Bundesliga, and is set for big things in the future, Mascarell predicted.
"It is incredible the level he is playing at, being just 19," he said. "He is very focused, he is not going to get distracted. Madrid have a great centre-back in him. He has a huge future."
Mascarell moved to Frankfurt last summer for €1 million, but Madrid reportedly have a buyback clause of €4m and a return to the Bernabeu remains his "dream."
"There has been a good bit of talk about this," he said. "It makes me proud and gives me strength to keep working hard as Madrid is the best club in the world. I had to leave to improve as a player, and I'm not sorry about that. But that is still my dream, to play for Madrid. I do not put limits on myself."
Things are going less well this season for another Castilla teammate and Mascarell's fellow Canary Islander Jese, who could leave Paris Saint-Germain this month after a difficult time following his €25m arrival last summer.
"I don't believe [Jese] will go to Las Palmas," he said. "I hope he goes somewhere where they believe in him, because I know the footballer he is."
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan