Karim Benzema: How do Real Madrid prepare for life without France striker?

One of the best players in Real Madrid history and a living legend, Karim Benzema departs the club.

Additionally, he leaves a sizable void in a team that is in the midst of a drastic makeover, with a number of legendary names being replaced by a fresh group of talent.
Benzema exceeded expectations by winning five Champions League titles, four La Liga championships, and the 2022 Ballon d’Or, amassing 353 goals along the way to finish second only to Cristiano Ronaldo in Los Blancos’ all-time scoring list after signing from hometown club Lyon in 2009 as a talented 21-year-old.

That number is even more astounding given that he spent the majority of his time playing second fiddle to Ronaldo, only really being allowed to emerge and take center stage in the attack in the last five seasons.

Since Ronaldo left in 2018, Benzema has averaged 32.2 goals each season, up from 21.3 when he played with the Portuguese superstar. This statistic amply demonstrates one of Benzema’s biggest strengths: his desire and ability to play for the team when necessary, rather of pursuing personal glory.

Benzema leaves the club with a total of 138 assists, and his selflessness has been instrumental in the recent growth of talented Brazilian wingers Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo.

When all is said and done, he will be regarded as a complete number nine rather than ‘just’ a striker and as a player who could deftly link play with midfield and easily create opportunities for others as well as take them himself.

However, this season has been difficult. The now-35-year-old Benzema was unable to play at the World Cup due to injury, has only started 23 league games, and hasn’t looked like himself in the latter stages of the season, particularly during the Champions League semi-final loss to Manchester City.

As a result, he is departing and taking advantage of his remaining playing years by joining Saudi champions Al-Ittihad after accepting a rumored 200 million euro offer. After Sunday’s home season finale against Athletic Bilbao, his choice will leave Real with a significant summer goal.

Next number nine for Real?

There are currently no realistic choices for coach Carlo Ancelotti, who is almost expected to stay despite a tantalizing offer to lead the Brazilian national side. Benzema’s all-around quality will be very difficult to replace.

Rodrygo has occasionally been used as a mobile “false nine,” but he appears much more at ease in his usual position on the right flank. Meanwhile, Eden Hazard and Mariano Diaz are both expected to leave the team at the end of the current campaign after a disastrous four seasons in Spain (seven goals in 76 appearances).

Therefore, reinforcements will need to be found, and Joselu, a target for Espanyol who was previously with Stoke City and Newcastle, has drawn significant attention after scoring 16 league goals for the team that was demoted, Catalan club this season

The club will undoubtedly be compelled to look for a more well-known player to take over the Frenchman’s number nine jersey as Joselu was meant to rotate with Benzema rather than replace him.

Kai Havertz of Chelsea, Victor Osimhen of Italian champions Napoli, Harry Kane of Tottenham, and Roberto Firmino, who is looking for a new challenge after leaving Liverpool, have all been connected.

However, longtime target Kylian Mbappe might once again be the top option.

Rumors that Mbappe will eventually sign with the Bernabeu persist despite the French player publicly rejecting the Spanish heavyweights to stay with Paris St. Germain last summer. He previously stated that he was ready to finish the remaining year of his contract in Paris, but the abrupt departure

Florentino Perez, the president of Real, might try to quickly convince Benzema to change his mind.

There is little doubt that Real Madrid will bring in a star center forward this summer to fill the Benzema-sized void in their lineup.

Project of regeneration is ongoing

The Bernabeu has seen a number of long-serving legends leave in the past two years, including Sergio Ramos, Rafael Varane, Gareth Bale, Isco, Marcelo, and Casemiro. Their departures have already left the team with a decidedly new look.

There will be more departures. Additionally, Toni Kroos is progressively fading into the background after years of leading the team, Luka Modric has reportedly received a sizable offer to leave to Saudi Arabia this summer, versatile forward Marco Asensio is expected to sign with PSG, and the club’s new poster boys, Vinicius, Rodrygo, Fede Valverde, and Eduardo Camavinga, are all in their early 20s and are expected to be joined by Benzema’s replacement as well as another significant up-and-coming talent, England international midfielder Jude Bellingham.

Whether they can even come close to equal Benzema’s influence is another question, but they all possess the skill to serve as the team’s backbone for many years to come.










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