Whilst José Mourinho’s men look forward to a monumental UEFA Champions League semi-final showdown versus Borussia Dortmund, Esteban is pondering the thought of playing Championship football next season.
Granero’s story at QPR is panning out the exact same way as another Los Blancos cantera product’s experience in England.
Esteban Granero was so intent on proving Real Madrid management wrong that it took him six minutes to get sent off on his La Liga debut as a Getafe loanee.
The 3-2 UEFA Cup loss to Twente was the first sign that Esteban could have a long top-flight career.
The Spaniard didn't look out of place when he came head-to-head with Dutch international Orlando Engelaar, a behemoth of a man.
In the 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur, it was Granero's free kick that led to Ruben de la Red scoring Getafe's first.
In a 3-2 loss to Real Madrid, Esteban memorably lofted the ball to Roberto Soldado who netted Getafe's opening goal.
Granero was a gritty, opportunistic and versatile wide midfielder for Getafe (via Michael Cox at FourFourTwo.com):
It’s also worth remembering that in his days at Getafe, Granero first emerged as a wide player in a midfield four—although he wasn’t exactly a mazy dribbler; his role was about drifting inside and keeping the ball.
How good was Esteban at Getafe?
It's easy to revise history and say he was their MVP given that Real Madrid bought him back.
In reality, he wasn't as complete as De La Red, who could have made the transition to a world-class player if not for a heart defect.
When Soldado arrived at Getafe, he became the club's star player, which made it two seasons running that a Castilla alumni outperformed Granero.
Upon returning to Real Madrid, Esteban was a dependable starter for Manuel Pellegrini, often appearing as an industrious wide midfielder with a knack for intercepting passes.
Writing for Sports Illustrated, Gabriele Marcotti was spot on when he categorised Granero as a foot soldier.
Queens Park Rangers signed Real Madrid's most accurate passer in Esteban Granero, who had the highest pass completion percentage (92.1) at the club.
Esteban Granero to QPR must be the best example of a PL team punching above their weight this window. He's an excellent player.— Michael Cox (@Zonal_Marking) August 31, 2012
So, why hasn't it worked out for Esteban?
Firstly, his 92.1 pass completion percentage has dropped to 82.8, which suggests he has struggled with the pace of the Premier League.
Secondly, Esteban averaged 89.5 minutes per game under Mark Hughes, which coincided with his strongest displays for the club.
For Harry Redknapp, Granero's MPG is 58.8, so it's no surprise that the Spaniard hasn't been receptive under the former Tottenham Hotspur manager.
It didn't help the situation when Harry said (via FourFourTwo.com), "You say we have talented players but are they that talented? I don't know really."
Funny part is, QPR have listed Granero (25) in their U21 team. Actually that may be sad.— The Real Madrid Fan! (@TheRMFan) April 9, 2013
Thirdly, it seems Granero is content with his displays and hasn't asserted himself on the game à la Samir Nasri.
Borja Valero is the reason why you should remain open-minded about Esteban Granero's career.
He struggled in the Premier League, went back to Mallorca on loan and won the Don Balón Award.
Then-WBA manager Tony Mowbray had ironically said: "If we can't find the right players, I won't waste money, I will keep going until we do."
Borja would go on to solidify himself as a world-class midfielder with Villarreal and earned high praise from Sid Lowe (via Sports Illustrated):
The sixth-best average rating in the league, match by match, according to Don Balón (the only ones handing out match day ratings without a club filter bias).
Only Messi, Ronaldo, Iniesta, Cazorla and Rossi have higher ratings.
And the latter two have benefited from Borja's control, technique and touch throughout the season as he keeps Villarreal moving.
A central midfielder in the Barcelona mold although he came through the Real Madrid youth system, and a man that Pep Guardiola looked at very closely last season, Borja has provided eight assists and almost 2,000 passes.
Spain call-up was richly deserved.
Since moving to Fiorentina, Valero has the highest pass completion percentage (87.8) for Serie A players with nine league assists or more.
Looking back in retrospect, Mowbray explained Borja's failure in the Premier League (via Scotsman.com):
We took Graeme Dorrans to West Brom (from Livingston] for 100 grand and yet there he is playing central midfield in the Premier League because his talent got him in the team in front of a boy who cost four million.
And the boy who cost me four million, Borja Valero, is by far the best technician at the club and yet the qualities that Dorrans has brought for 100 grand required that he played.
The qualities is a reference to Valero not possessing the intangibles (at that time) to thrive in the cut-throat nature of English football.
Granero is the same case for Queens Park Rangers.
The worst part about Granero-QPR-gate is that people will now come to the conclusion that he isn't a good player. Should come back to Liga.— Kaushik (@_kaushik7) April 9, 2013