Which striker should Real Madrid sign to replace Karim Benzema?
Karim Benzema has left Real Madrid to join Saudi Pro League champions Al Ittihad. This has created a huge void in the Spanish giant’s roster as he was one of the mainstays for more than a decade and an integral part of their post-2010 success.
However, Benzema‘s departure has rekindled a very recurrent question in European football, “Who will be the next Galactico?” Currently, Los Blancos do not have a forward who can take up the spot so it is imminent that Florentino Perez will have to bring in a replacement.
While there are plenty of goalscorers, there aren’t many who are of the same caliber as the Frenchman. The 35-year-old offered much more than just goals. His link-up play, ability to draw defenders, free-up space for forward runners, and impeccable final balls made him a rare talent. Here are five strikers Real Madrid may sign next summer.
The England and Tottenham Hotspur captain has been on Madrid’s wishlist for quite some time now. Harry Kane shares a lot of his attributes with Benzema. Both of them can hold the ball and bring wingers into play. Both of them are consistent goal scorers and both are leaders.
Kane is the second-highest goalscorer in the history of the Premier League with 213. Since 2014-15, he has never scored less than 15 goals in a PL season.
However, Madrid’s main worry would be that a proven goalscorer will not come in cheap. Despite having only one year left in his contract, Spurs owner Daniel Levy will not sell Kane for anything else. The 30-year-old will cost €100 million or more.
The Spanish giants are in the middle of transition and investing in a megadeal for a 30-year-old might also not be helpful for the club in the longer run.
Another superstar forward perpetually linked with the White Horses is French World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe. The 24-year-old has never hid his admiration for the Spanish giants. Being a Cristiano Ronaldo fan, Real Madrid should be his next destination, if he wants to move.
Mbappe, though stylistically different from Benzema, is extremely versatile. He can pair with Vinicius Jr. and form a formidable front two. Just like the young Brazilian, Mbappe is blistering fast and has a very good skill of identifying space. These traits will make him successful at any club.
The two-time World Cup finalist is also going to cost an exorbitant amount of money given his current contract with Paris Saint Germain. But that would not deter Perez. Real Madrid is famous for flexing their financial muscle when it comes to making a big signing.
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The German international had a season he would like to forget very soon. He scored just seven goals and provided one assist in 35 games as Chelsea endured their worst season in PL.
Despite his woes, the German has a very high ceiling. He ranks in the 91st percentile in Europe for progressive passes and 88th percentile in successfully receiving attacking passes. His numbers struggle in the output section but that can also be due to the poor performance around him.
His ability to press from the front might also add to Real Madrid’s dimensions next season. People in the know believe that should he sign for Real Madrid, he would be a bit-part player and will have to fight for his position from the bench.
Another tall and physical forward who has underperformed terribly this season, Dusan Vlahovic is also on Perez’s radar. The 23-year-old Serbian broke into the scene last season scoring 24 goals in 36 games for Fiorentina and Juventus. He was among the top five percent of players for almost all the attacking metrics and earned a move to Turin.
However, this season, Vlahovic has struggled to kickstart his campaign. He has scored only 10 goals in all competitions in 27 games. His underlying stats show that there is a very good supporting player in him who can change games
Northern Europe has always been a hotbed for strikers. After Erling Haaland lit up the Premier League, Rasmus Højlund is being dubbed as the next “big thing”.
The 20-year-old has scored nine goals and four assists last season for Atalanta. But it is his exceptional dribbling, pace and impressive vision that has made big clubs lock their focus on him.
Although he is linked with moves to Manchester United and Juventus, Real Madrid has both the pull and the finances to bring in the forward.
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