It's time to look beyond Karim Benzema for Zinedine Zidane
Real Madrid’s riches have ensured that even the best of the footballers on the planet still have to earn their place in the squad. While the likes of James Rodriguez, who has seen himself turn into a rather costly impact option continues to grab the headlines for his peripheral role at the club, there is another player who deserves to be playing more often, owing to his prolific performances but is being restricted to a bit-part role at Madrid, Alvaro Morata.
The 24-year-old Spaniard, who joined Real Madrid from Getafe in 2008 at the age of 18 has seen his footballing stock grow tremendously after spending 2 successful seasons in Turin with Juventus and continues to put in good performances despite starting only 4 games in the season thus far.
Having ended as Spain’s highest scorer in the Euro 2016, Morata has now scored 5 goals and assisted 2 more in the 13 games he has featured in and is constantly knocking on the door of the first team.
Could Benzema’s best years be behind him?
Given his current form, it has been claimed that it is Benzema’s reputation rather than form that is keeping Morata out of the side. Even the former Los Blancos coach Fabio Capello chipped in with his insights, claiming that Benzema starts ahead of Morata on the basis of his reputation rather than form and we cannot see a reason why Zidane has stuck with the Frenchman despite his poor showings.
The French superstar has begun the season on a poor note and is now finding it tough to find the back of the net as easily as he did in the past. On the other hand, Morata, who has had to come on from the bench more often than not, is currently Real Madrid’s leading goal scorer in the current season, even ahead of the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale and is touted by many to be the person who could be the reason for the dismantling of the famed ‘BBC.’
To compare their form in the last 5 games across all competitions, Morata has scored 5 goals and assisted 2 more in a mere 169 minutes on the pitch, while Benzema has managed to find the back of the net on just 2 occasions in the 352 minutes on the pitch, making Morata the more prolific of the two going by current form.
Time to look beyond Benzema
Real Madrid were believed to have forked out a sum in the region of €41 million including incentives and the club would be more than willing to recoup the sum paid in the upcoming window should the opportunity arise. With the likes of Arsenal interested, it would not come as a surprise should Zidane and co. decide to cash in on him.
Benzema’s current contract with Real Madrid is set to expire in 2019 and unlike many of his colleagues, there has not been a lot of talk about the Los Blancos extending his contract and with him moving closer to his contract expiry date, it would be prudent of the club to sell him. While the immediate question that arises is who can effectively replace him, Morata’s showings with Juventus and now, with Real Madrid, suggests he is more than ready to take over the mantle from Benzema.
The Spaniard is quick on the ball, can get past opponents without creating a fuss and has shown an excellent eye for picking out his teammates in crucial areas. While he might not be as prolific as Benzema at the moment, it must be noted that at 24 years of age, the player could be just entering his best years and if his performances are any indication, he can replicate, if not better Benzema at his best.
While Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid currently sit atop the La Liga table, there have been problems aplenty at the club and the dip in form of the devastating trio of BBC is now beginning to worry the Real Madrid faithful.
Even the French legend has admitted that it is hard to keep the likes of Morata out of the first team and we believe, sooner or later, he will have to dismantle the existing attacking combination in order to yield positive results and with Morata firing on all cylinders, he needs to be one of the first names on the team sheet.