‘Benzema enjoyed more patience’

Predrag Mijatovic believes that Karim Benzema has benefited from greater patience at Real Madrid compared to Gonzalo Higuain.

The Argentine, who indicated his desire to leave the Santiago Bernabeu on the last day of last season, completed a €37m transfer to Napoli at the weekend.

The move ended a four-year rivalry with Benzema for what was often a single spot in the first team.

For the club’s former striker, who in the later role of sporting director was then responsible for Higuain’s arrival in January 2007, the now departed 25-year-old was not valued correctly.

“When Real Madrid purchased Higuain he was seen as a kid with great talent,” Mijatovic told Cadena COPE this week.

“It seems that people have had more patience with [Karim] Benzema than with Higuain.

“He arrived here very young, not as a star and people did not understand him very well.

“On the market there are not many with Higuain’s scoring ability.

“He was settled in Spain and did well in Spanish football. He was key to winning the League title under Capello and has grown a lot at Madrid.

“It is not easy to find a player that scores 25-30 goals a season. Economically, though, his sale was good.

“But we shall see if Madrid have a problem. They have Benzema, Cristiano, Morata, but perhaps they need to sign another striker.”

Mijatovic was asked if President Florentino Perez’s perceived preference for Benzema counted against Higuain.

“Real Madrid are so important that such reflections like this are sometimes uncertain and have nothing to do with reality.

“Any directive at the club is there for the team to do well. Perhaps Higuain wanted a change of scenery, he did not want to be the second choice striker each year, but I do not think it was a matter of policy.”

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