Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid seem to have two clear personalities – one with Karim Benzema leading the line and one with Karim Benzema being absent – and such is the stark difference between the two scenarios, it has become clear that Los Blancos have a huge hole in their squad without the Frenchman.
Ancelotti played a team against Athletic Club without Benzema present, and the team was clearly lacking something.
It was like removing a vital organ from a body, without which – a good quality of life isn’t possible. Without Benzema, attacking moves lack both a cutting edge and a finishing touch. There is nobody to hold the ball up either.
When Casemiro, Toni Kroos or Luka Modric managed to overcome the pressure put on them from the Basque club, they found themselves so bereft of options upfront that they had to keep the ball themselves.
Now, the Copa del Rey wasn’t too high on Los Merengues’ list of priorities this term, but the defeat brought to light the red alarm that comes if they have to play Paris Saint-Germain without Benzema.
Luka Jovic didn’t even warm up whilst Mariano Diaz is injured, which goes to show that there is very little reliability in attack without Benzema.
This means that in the future there needs to be alternative options in attack, but until the summer transfer window opens, nothing can be done.
Gareth Bale, Isco, Eden Hazard and Jovic have to start showing worth, even if the first two names on that list know they are leaving the club.
Jovic still has to earn a place in Serbia’s World Cup squad, and he has to start showing he can play for a team like Real Madrid.