There is a significant difference between fixing and upgrading. Many are calling Radamel Falcao the solution to Real Madrid’s striker “dilemma.” Calling it a “dilemma” makes it sound like Real Madrid miserably failed in their hunt for silverware in Ancelotti’s debut season. It was quite the opposite in fact as the Italian tactician guided Real Madrid to the holy tenth. This was accomplished largely due to Madrid’s front three, who are undoubtedly the most potent forward line in world football.
So is it really a “problem” that needs fixing? Fixing something that already works is simply impossible. Implying that something can be fixed is also implying that it doesn’t work. Upgrading surely can be done but only at the risk of destroying all progress. Why not take a look at Pep, who took a treble winning side that looked unbeatable and tried to turn it into a shade of his old Barcelona.
How well a player plays for a club is very much dependant on his role. If Karim Benzema was the star of his team, he would surely get 40+ goals a year. He’s one of those players that thrive on receiving the ball at the start and end of every attack. We saw that in Lyon and with France during this World Cup.
When Big Benz is the star, he stands up to be counted. Unfortunately for him, he has to share a dressing room with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. The Frenchman however has adapted to his new role in the center of Real Madrid’s attacking trident. His movement and technical ability on the ball allows and facilitates for Ronaldo and Bale to cause havoc on the wings. Say what you wish about his often frustrating work ethic or his lack of clinical finishing, Benzema fits well into the Ancelotti system.
It’s not that Benzema’s a rare breed of striker, there are plenty like him. One just secured a move to the Real’s cross-town rivals Atlético. Mandžukić would fit perfectly in the Ancelotti system, just like he did under Jupp Heynckes. Mandžukić was used excellently under Heynckes to facilitate the likes of Robben and Ribery. The same could have easily been achieved with Ronaldo and Bale, but it seemed like Mandžukić preferred a guaranteed starting role under Simeone.
The rumor mills have constantly been linking Falcao with a move back to Madrid, but this time with the white half. Florentino Perez has a been a long-term admirer of El Tigre but could never materialize a transfer.
Falcao’s style of play is one similar to that of Benzema’s. They both possess extraordinary technical ability on the ball, however Falcao prefers to set himself up more as a poacher with great finishing and heading while Benzema prefers to drop deep and create attacks. Falcao could very well integrate himself in the Real style of play but is it really a good move?
Let’s look at the solid facts. He’s 28, been injured for most of last season and would cost around €50 million. When he’s on his game, there is no one better but €50 million is a lot of money to risk even for Perez. With Suarez’s imminent move to Barcelona and Mandžukić sealing a deal to Atlético some of the quality strike-force is disappearing, but there are still many other viable targets Real can look at. And with Real’s budget, there aren’t many players in this world “unavailable” for Los Blancos.