Karim Benzema left Real Madrid for Saudi Pro League champions Al Ittihad. It has left a huge hole in the Spanish giants’ roster, as he had been a mainstay for over a decade. He was also an integral part of the team’s success after 2010.
The departure of Benzema has brought back a question that is often asked in European football: ” who will be the new Galactico?” At the moment, Los Blancos have no forwards capable of filling the void, so Florentino Perez must find a replacement.
There are many goal scorers but few are as good as the Frenchman. The 35-year old offered more than just goals. He was a rare talent because of his link-up play and ability to draw defenders. His ability to free up space for forward runners as well as his impeccable final ball made him an exceptional player. Here are five strikers Real Madrid could sign next summer.
Madrid has had the England and Tottenham Hotspur Captain on their wishlist for a while now. Harry Kane has many of the same attributes as Benzema. Both can play the ball with wingers and hold it. Both are goal scorers who are also leaders.
Kane has scored 213, the second most goals in Premier League history. He has not scored fewer than 15 goals since 2014-15.
Madrid’s biggest concern is that a proven goal scorer will not be cheap. Spurs owner Daniel Levy won’t sell Kane, despite the fact that he has only one year remaining on his contract. The 30-year old will cost EUR100m or more.
The Spanish giants, who are currently in transition, might not benefit from a megadeal with a player aged 30.
The French World Cup champion Kylian MBappe is another superstar forward who has been forever linked with the White Horses. The 24-year old has never hidden his admiration for Real Madrid. If he is a Cristiano Cristiano supporter, Real Madrid would be the best place for him to go.
Mbappe is a very versatile player, even though he has a different style from Benzema. He can form a formidable two-man front with Vinicius Junior. Mbappe, like the young Brazilian is lightning fast and has an excellent ability to identify space. These qualities will make him a success at any club.
A two-time World Cup Finalist, his contract with Paris Saint Germain will also cost him a colossal amount of money. Perez would not be deterred by this. Real Madrid is known for their financial muscle, especially when making big signings.
The German international would like to quickly forget his season. In 35 games, he scored seven goals and had one assist as Chelsea suffered their worst season ever in the Premier League.
The German is a player with a high ceiling despite his struggles. He is in the 91st per centile for European progressive passes, and in the 88th per centile for receiving successful attacking passes. He struggles in the output section, but this could also be because of the poor performances around him.
Real Madrid could also benefit from his ability to press forward. Some people believe that if he signs for Real Madrid he will be a bit part player who has to fight from the bench for his place.
Perez is also keeping an eye on Dusan Vlahovic, a tall and physically strong forward who has not performed well this season. The 23-year old Serbian made his debut last season, scoring 24 goals in just 36 games with Fiorentina. He was in the top five percent for nearly all attacking metrics, and earned a transfer to Turin.
Vlahovic has struggled this season to get his campaign off to a good start. In 27 matches he has only scored 10 times in all competitions. The stats behind him show he is a good player who can make a difference in games.
Northern Europe has long been a hotbed of strikers. Rasmus Hojlund, the “next big thing” after Erling Haaland lit the Premier League on fire, is now being called the next “bigger thing”.
Last season, the 20-year old scored nine goals for Atalanta and had four assists. It is his exceptional dribbling and pace, as well as his impressive vision, that have made him a target for big clubs.
Real Madrid, which has the financial and pull to attract him, is the only option for the player who has been linked with Manchester United or Juventus.