After another El Clásico defeat, Real Madrid are now 12 points behind their Catalan rivals with this most recent defeat being their eighth of the season. A lacklustre performance highlighted their systemic problems once again. It seems the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo and lack of replacement as well has resulted in one of the worst attacking Madrid sides in history. The La Liga giant’s problems are serious and could lead to their downfall in the coming years if not adequately addressed.
El Clasico Defeat Highlights Real Madrid’s Attacking Problems
Lack of Goals
It’s no secret that Real Madrid are struggling. In terms of what one usually expects from this Madrid team, they have lost eight times in the league this year and have conceded 31 goals. This team is struggling at both ends of the pitch. However, the reason for that struggle is the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo. If any club lost Ronaldo, they would be losing a guaranteed 40 odd goals a season, perhaps irreplaceable. However, the fact they didn’t sign anyone was a mystery. They are now paying the price for that mistake as their youth and academy are failing to live up to expectations.
With their attacking options being Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Vinícius Júnior, Marco Asensio, Lucas Vasquez, and Mariano Diaz, it is perhaps their worst attacking lineup for years. Their total goals combined in the league combine to 21 goals. In contrast, Ronaldo has scored 21 goals in Italy for Juventus alone. Compare that to Barcelona, who’s forwards have scored 49 goals in the league. They are lacking that real firepower that you associate with Real Madrid teams and that is an issue.
Who Should They Sign?
As mentioned, there was no Galactico signing to replace Ronaldo. Of course, they signed Vinícius Júnior for £54m but he is only 18 and will be a future star, not a short term solution. In fact when you look at their signings in the last 5 years, the last big signing was off the back of the 2014 World Cup, when they signed James Rodríguez. Which is why it was strange that off the back of the 2018 World Cup that they didn’t make a marquee signing. Perhaps no one really stood out at the World Cup, except they already Luka Modric who won the golden ball award. Eden Hazard was notoriously linked with a move, but it failed to materialise.
In terms of the next summer transfer window, you can see them clearly not winning La Liga and if they don’t win the Champions League, it will be a year that the board won’t stand for. With players like Bale and Isco unsettled and not getting game time, they could be sold for big money which would raise funds. Put that together with the funds they already possess, and it could be a very busy summer for Madrid, with the main area to invest in being up front.
Another potential signing is PSG star, Neymar. Formerly of Barcelona, he hasn’t ruled out a move to the Bernabeu. In what would be another ‘super move’ it would certainly be an incredibly expensive transfer and one that would shock the footballing world. Other options include Mauro Icardi whose wife seemed to reveal he has spoken to a few clubs with one being Real Madrid. He is a striker certainly in his prime who could take over from the aging Benzema and thrust himself into the limelight on the biggest stage.
Mbappe The Perfect Fit?
One player who seems destined for a move to Real Madrid at some point in his career is Kylian Mbappe. Perhaps the world’s hottest football property at only 20 years of age, the World Cup winner has caught the eyes of everyone with his raw talent, pace and goal record at such a young age. Currently, part of a PSG team that is hoping to finally crack the Champions League code, if they don’t win it again, he could become restless playing in a league that is perhaps below him. The move to Madrid makes sense. He would be a huge signing and he could score the goals to take Madrid back to the pinnacle of European football.