LaLiga 2018/19: 3 Reasons why Mariano could be great for Real Madrid
In the aftermath of Cristiano Ronaldo's stunning move to Juventus, many believed Real Madrid would splash the cash to get a big money 'Galactico' to make reparations for letting go of their most marketable player.
However, they didn't give in to the popular sentiment among fans as they stuck to their revamped transfer policy and opted to bring in a promising and familiar face. A former Los Blancos, Mariano Diaz. While the name might not ring a bell for many, fans who closely followed Madrid's Copa del Rey campaign in 2016/17 would know him.
Rivals Sevilla were understood to be in the running for the forward but Real thwarted the move to bring him back to the Santiago Bernabau, thanks to the buy back clause that was inserted into the deal at the time of his sale last summer.
Born in Catalonia, he spent his youth career at Espanyol and Badalona respectively before joining Real Madrid in 2011.
While he is not exactly seen as an ideal replacement for Ronaldo, he could prove to be one. Here we take a look at three reasons why he can be benificial for Julen Lopetegui's side.
#3 A potential goalscorer
Cristiano Ronaldo, after arriving in Madrid in 2009, happily took it uopn himself to provide the goals on a regualr basis that saw them win a plethora of trophies all these years. Alongside him, Karim Benzema played a second fiddle, creating assists and opening out spaces for the Portuguese superstar to exploit. But Benzema is not a pure number 9 and with Ronaldo gone, to expect the same consistency from the Frenchman appears a bridge too far. They have Gareth Bale but he is best used in the wings.
Therefore with a predatory striker like Mariano in the side, they will have a potential goalscorer to rely upon. The 25-year-old scored 18 goals in Ligue 1 and 21 over all for Lyon last season to become the top scoring Spanish origin player in Europe's top leagues, only Iago Aspas (22) outscored him.
In Copa del Rey in 2016/17 before he left Madrid, he had four goals from five outings under then manager Zinedine Zidane. The season before, while playing for Real Madrid's youth team Castilla, he netted 27 in 33 appearances.
With all these stats behind him, he would most certainly make his chances count in the Spanish capital.