EUROPEAN FOOTBALL

Real Madrid desperate to look for Benzema replacement

Brazilian wonderkid

Last season, Karim Benzema played for more than 3,900 minutes, surpassing the burn-out or injury threshold of approximately 3,500 minutes. However, this season, the Frenchman has been unable to maintain his Ballon d’Or form due to muscular injuries, including a recurring quad problem. As a result, he has missed 13 matches for Real Madrid and the World Cup with France. Once again, Benzema’s availability for the upcoming Espanyol game is in question due to muscle fatigue.

Real Madrid took a gamble this summer. They relied on Karim Benzema to continue performing at his best until 2024 and mentoring young Endrick. However, this approach may not be wise, given the uncertainty around Benzema’s future form. The club needs a temporary solution for the center forward position for the next three to four years. But there are few options available in the market. Madrid will have to be creative in their approach.

Players Real Madrid might look for

First comes Julian Alvarez. The Argentinean striker, a World Cup winner, currently serves as a backup for Haaland at Manchester City. He excels in tackling and is a quality finisher who consistently outperforms his expected goals. At 23 years old, he would be a suitable addition for Real Madrid, given his playing and age profile.

Secondly, reports suggest Kai Havertz could have joined Real Madrid instead of Chelsea if not for the pandemic. His best position is behind a striker, but has mostly played as a center forward for Chelsea. If given the right role, he could complement Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes. Real Madrid showed interest in him before and may consider him again, especially as Chelsea needs to balance their books for FFP purposes.

Thirdly, Amine Gouiri is similar to Benzema in style, with more focus on creating than scoring goals. He’s made sensible moves to Nice and Rennes, with his best season being 9 goals in 1,500 minutes. He excels in creative metrics and his value is at €40m, but concerns arise over his scoring record.

Fourth comes Goncalo Ramos. Benfica’s executive hinted at a bigger talent than Darwin Nunez, referring to 21-year-old Goncalo Ramos, who scored four goals in the World Cup. Ramos is a pure goal-scorer, ranking in the 93rd percentile for goals per 90, with 23 goals and 9 assists in 2,500 minutes. However, he offers little in build-up or defensively.

Kane and Osimhen are too expensive for Real Madrid, while Richarlison and Vlahovic haven’t impressed with their current teams. The club is looking for reasonably priced targets within the desired age range of 21-25, such as the previously mentioned players. While they may not be superstars, they have enough quality and potential upside to improve the squad.

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