Analysis: Could another veteran be the perfect complement to Karim Benzema for Real Madrid?

“It is something we will discuss in the summer.” Those were the words of Carlo Ancelotti in early February when he was asked if Real Madrid could do with a back up striker for Karim Benzema.

He would go on to say that they have options there, and that they are relying on Benzema for next season, but the reality is that they do not have another natural centre-forward in their squad.

That was the reason that youngster Alvaro Rodriguez was drafted into the squad against Liverpool and Osasuna, where he made an instant impact. There is plenty of faith in the 18-year-old, and he may well be in the first-team squad for the rest of the season.

However it is a lot to ask of Rodriguez, and placing too much faith in him after just six minutes of action against Osasuna seems premature.

Fichajes say that the discussion Ancelotti mentioned could lead them to Edinson Cavani. If Valencia are relegated this season, the veteran Uruguayan would be looking to move on, and he could have a rotational role behind Benzema.

Cavani, 36, has the finishing ability and reading of the game to be able to operate effectively for a side that creates chances for him. He could also help to mentor his compatriot Rodriguez.

He has seven goals and one assist this season in 17 games, although Los Che have been struggling this season, finding themselves in 19th place currently.

A dedicated professional, he would only contribute to the dressing room atmosphere, and could be brought in at little cost. In addition, he would not be a problem to bring in on a short-term deal in anticipation of Endrick Felipe’s arrival in 2024.

On the other hand, it might not be wise to bring in another ageing player, as Los Blancos attempt to continue the transition through to a younger generation.

Cavani himself has suffered from injury issues this season, only managing 53% of their league minutes this season. Admittedly he did miss several games at the start of the season due to his late signing, but there is a feeling he has never been truly sharp this season, and is currently injured for up to a month.

While Cavani has still stood out as Valencia’s best forward, he is underperforming his xG total for the season by almost 2 goals. That hints at the fact he has missed some presentable opportunities.

If they are to bring in an alternative to Benzema, Real Madrid may prefer to sign a different profile of forward, or a more reliable one. Equally, there is so little risk in a deal for Cavani, it might be the easiest option.

Tags Edinson Cavani Real Madrid Valencia
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