Where is Benzema?

Real Madrid hastens the last dates of this 2022-23 season in which they can no longer win anything, but they can still leave many shreds of their image in the three league games that remain. At Mestalla he lost (1-0), gave up second place in the League to Atlético, left there with Vinicius insulted and sent off and continued his terrible feelings, especially in attack. And there is a special point out there: Karim Benzema. One more day, the Frenchman went unnoticed, did not score and sent new worrying signals for the immediate future.

As in the Etihad, Benzema was a shadow. At least in Mestalla he did finish off, twice, both on goal, although without real danger; His best contribution was a ball given to Valverde with which the Uruguayan he almost achieved the tie, avoided by a feline Mamardashvili. He entered few duels (6), of which he won just 33% (2), recovered just 3 balls and lost 10. He left without ‘wetting’ once again, and despite this his figures for the season are remarkable: 29 goals and 6 assists in 41 games.

kai forsterlingEFE

But these figures are boosted by a few days of inspiration in the midst of a panorama, rather, of scarcity: he scored hat-tricks against Barcelona in the second leg of the Cup semifinals and in the league games against Valladolid (matchday 27) and Almería (matchday 32). However, he scored just one goal in the quarterfinal matchup against Chelsea and none in the two games against City in the semifinals. Those three triplets were flashes in the middle of a closed night for the white striker, whose scoring frequency has suffered a significant drop compared to last year.

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Benzema’s 2021-22 season was close to perfection: 44 goals in 46 games, including 15 goals in the Champions League. He scored those 44 goals in 30 duels of the 46 that he played, 65%. This course that frequency has fallen to 46%, a drop of almost 20%, with 19 games seeing the goal in 41 opportunities. And the data is even worse if the last weeks are analyzed: since the beginning of March, Benzema has barely scored in 5 games out of 16, 31%.

Vlahovic and Kane ‘threate’ Benzema

All this has generated a lively debate around the role that Benzema should have at Real Madrid 2023-24. The Frenchman has extended his contract until 2024 through a clause that was activated after his victory in the last edition of the Ballon d’Or. But the tie against City and his current season, plagued by injuries and with a performance not as fine-tuned as in the past, has spurred a question: Does Madrid need another striker?

And with that idea they work at Real Madrid: go to the market to sign a nine with proven ability to score a season of around 30 goals, which means real competition for Benzema, not as was the case with Jovic or as has been happening with Mariano . Some names are coming out on the market, although it is early for any spring to have started to move: Vlahovic, from Juventus; Kane, from Tottenham; or Gonçalo Ramos, from Benfica.

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