Real Madrid Needs A Karim Benzema Successor. Here Are 5 Candidates Rated.

Real Madrid Needs A Karim Benzema Successor. Here Are 5 Candidates Rated.

Karim Benzema

Karim Benzema is encountering more injury troubles than usual at this stage of his Real Madrid career. And as radical as it may seem, Real may need to prioritize another striker— from within or outside—if the loyal Frenchman begins to fade.

Assuming the 35-year-old stays available after putting the gloss on his team’s 6-2 aggregate win over Liverpool in the Champions League, he will feature in coach Carlo Ancelotti’s short-term plans. He’s the club’s most reliable goalscorer and best complements the other attacking riches—particularly winger Vinícius Júnior, who is quickly cementing himself as the star in the roster.

For a club so valuable, it’s incredible that Benzema, Real’s second-highest goalscorer ever, has carried the baton for so long, especially since Cristiano Ronaldo—the most prolific talisman in Madrid white—left five years ago. Brought in to share the load, strikers Luka Jovic and Mariano Díaz have not worked out, and the youth options—like Álvaro Rodríguez—are not nailed on to rival Benzema with consistent numbers in attack. Fortunately, his constant availability and clockwork form mean that has mattered little until this point.

Regarding potential signings, Los Blancos’ superstar status means high-end galácticos like Kylian Mbappé or Erling Haaland drive the most craze amongst the fanbase. There are, however, other names worth seeking in the transfer market, and some would mark intriguing business. Below are a few who could take over the mantle further down the line. Or merely provide another source of goals in a star-studded front line.

Victor Osimhen (Napoli)

Right now, there’s no better forward outside the U.K. than Victor Osimhen—the focal point in a dynamic Napoli side on course for its first Serie A championships since 1990. And if he replicates anything like this unrelenting form season after season, he has everything to be Nigeria’s best striker ever.

Interestingly, the Spanish and European king has shown no serious interest in his services, with a host of English Premier League monitoring him closely instead. But it won’t take long before president Florentino Pérez starts plotting his move to the Spanish capital. To what extent does he tick the necessary boxes? 8/10.

Gonçalo Ramos (Benfica)

From this assortment, Portuguese powerhouse Gonçalo Ramos will likely cost the most. Benfica has become a high-end shopping mall over the past decade, reportedly selling its prized assets for more than an estimated €1.3 billion ($1.4 billion) combined—a model used to reinvest in academy products and compete admirably in the Champions League.

Cashing in on its most hyped striker since João Félix will see Benfica’s balance sheet jump again. The thing is: Ramos looks like the real deal. A candidate to follow Ronaldo’s lead, he’s proven his worth internationally with Portugal and appears a tight fit with Real’s playing style. 8/10.

Gonçalo Ramos

Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus)

The word that comes to mind here is classic. Dusan Vlahovic is strong, pacy, and an excellent finisher. Yet it’s not guaranteed he will be a massive upgrade on Álvaro Morata, for instance—an ex-Real forward who has not quite reached the top bracket since breaking onto the scene a few years ago. Vlahovic likely can, but Jovic earned high praise in Germany before a bitterly disappointing stint at the Santiago Bernabéu.

Indeed, there is a grain of doubt. Although the Serbian—widely quoted to be worth around the €100 million ($107 million) mark—makes for an exciting gamble if a financially-troubled Juventus eventually decide he is not crucial to its rebuild. In any case, a move is unlikely for now. 6/10.

Richarlison (Tottenham Hotspur)

What? Richarlison? True, the Brazilian has done very little at Tottenham Hotspur and is not the obvious choice to start tearing up La Liga with Real any moment soon.

However, given his raw attributes, not least his athleticism, Real would relish applying the finishing touches to a player somewhat surplus to requirements in north London. He’s also performed the central goalscoring role well for Brazil, so there’s huge potential if he finds the right club. He’s an outside bet to come good at Real if the club’s reported interest holds any water. 6/10.

Julian Álvarez (Manchester City)

Arguably the most sensible alternative, Julian Álvarez has distinguished himself as one of the best forwards around with Manchester City. The problem is he plays second to Erling Haaland in the lineup, despite coach Pep Guardiola occasionally rotating his selection in the number nine berth.

His lack of game times renders him a perfect target for a club like Real, where he can become the headline act. An offer for Álvarez makes perfect sense, yet he won’t be easy to recruit, given he has committed to a lengthy contract with the Premier League title holder until 2028. 8/10.


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