Kylian Mbappe shocked the football world after deciding to sign a new contract with PSG rather than fulfill his “dream move” to Real Madrid.
The Frenchman is now nicknamed “traitor” by Madrid fans, who clearly are not happy he betrayed them after teasing a move for so long.
But Real Madrid aren’t the club to mellow down after such a public embarrassment. Los Blancos will aim to improve their attacking line by signing a world-class forward in the summer. But who is capable of making an impact like Mbappe?
Here’s a look at a few potential alternatives for the Spanish powerhouse.
Mo Salah instead of Mbappe
If Real Madrid are really seeking a blockbuster signing after missing out on Mbappe, Mo Salah serves as a very enticing prospect. However, we must keep in mind that the Egyptian winger has had tensions with the club – especially after losing the 2017/18 Champions League final.
Salah is keen on defeating Madrid in the upcoming Champions League final to get revenge. Despite that, Los Blancos have their eyes fixated on the winger. Real are looking to make a move for Salah as an alternative to Mbappe (as per The Athletic) as they realize the need for another prolific forward to take things to another level.
Mo finished the 2021/22 Premier League season as the co-Golden Boot winner, having scored 23 goals while registering 14 assists. He is undoubtedly among the best players in the world and is fighting with Karim Benzema for the Ballon d’Or trophy.
If Salah were to link up with Benzema & Vinicius Jr, Madrid’s attacking line would be a nightmare for the best of oppositions. As long as Los Blancos are able to convince him to join and pony up his €100m value (as per Transfermarkt), they’d be signing a player at the peak of his game, one who is capable of makig as massive an impact as Mbappe.
Christopher Nkunku: A new Frenchman at Madrid
Christopher Nkunku surprised many by outperforming the likes of Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski to win the Bundesliga Player of the Season award. The RB Leipzig midfielder scored 20 goals and registered 13 assists in 34 league games. His tally was 35 goals and 20 assists in all competitions!
The 24-year-old can play in a variety of attacking roles, as a No.10, a left-winger, and even a right-winger. Madrid have been very dependent on Vinicius and Benzema for their goals this season, as they lack a creative, goal-scoring threat in midfield.
Nkunku could be Madrid’s ideal playmaker and he’d thrive at the Bernabeu because of his creative ability. The Frenchman is the entire package, a clinical goal-scorer, a superb dribbler, and very fast.
Los Blancos might have to pay upwards of his €65m valuation (as per Transfermarkt), but in Nkunku they’d be getting a highly versatile, exciting player who could produce similar goal contributions as Mbappe.
Heung-Min Son as an alternative
While they might not get their “next Cristiano Ronaldo” in Mbappe, Real Madrid can search the market for a similar player nonetheless. They could make a move for the 2021/22 Premier League Golden Boot co-winner Heung-Min Son, who scored 23 league goals for Tottenham Hotspur.
The 29-year-old is at the peak of his career and has earned the “Sonaldo” nickname for his skill in the final third. Son possesses impressive dribbling ability, pace, and clinical scoring ability. He has that “it” factor to create something special when his team needs it the most.
Fortunately for Real Madrid, they have a very healthy working relationship with Spurs – having signed the likes of Gareth Bale and Luka Modric from them in the past.
If they’re willing to pay something around €80m-€100m and are able to convince Son of an important role in the side, the prospect of adding the South Korean to play with Benzema and Vinicius could create a truly explosive forward line that would greatly bolster their Champions League and La Liga winning hopes for years to come.