Real Madrid rode the tail of Karim Benzema to a lot of success last season, with Frenchman’s prolific season helping them win La Liga and Champions League titles. The 34-year-old striker made 46 appearances for Los Blancos, scoring 44 goals and registering 15 assists.
His heroics almost guarantees him the Ballon d’Or award this year and Madrid are absolutely grateful to the striker, too. However, they are also aware they can’t be overly dependent on him for too long. Indeed, Madrid’s struggles without Benzema last season were evident. They lost 4-0 to Barcelona without the Frenchman and struggled to score goals.
That’s why Los Blancos want to sign a striker to take some pressure off the Frenchman. Particularly, a striker that guarantees them 10-12 goals (as per Cadena SER).
There are some possible options that could give Madrid exactly what they want. Here we look at the three low-budget strikers they could sign to support Benzema.
Real Madrid return for Alvaro Morata?
Real Madrid could look into a familiar “frenemy” to improve their strike force. Alvaro Morata is in an awkward situation right now as Atletico Madrid don’t want him and Juventus, where he was on loan last season, are refusing to pay the fee needed to sign him. Los Blancos could pop in for a deal if they want to.
They recently ended a pact with Atletico which barred them from signing players from their rivals. The Spaniard was available to buy for Juventus for around €35m, so Real could pay that to get him. Morata might not be the most consistent or “elite” striker, but he is efficient. He possesses an impressive aerial ability, link-up play and can pop up crucial goals every now and then.
His ability to drop deep and free up space for teammates could help the likes of Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo, too. The Spaniard could provide double-digit goals for Los Blancos and provide cover to Benzema pretty well.
Andrea Belotti: Smart free transfer for Los Blancos
One of the more underrated gems still available in the free agency pool is Italian striker Andrea Belotti. Despite being one of Serie A’s best scorers the past five years, he has yet to find a club.
Real Madrid will not have to spend a transfer fee to get him, which makes this a gamble well worth taking. Belotti is a prolific goal-scorer, possessing all the skills to convert from inside the area. His movement, link-up play and physicality can help him thrive in La Liga as well. The 28-year-old made 251 appearances for Torino, scoring 113 goals and helping them stay alive in Serie A for many years.
Not just that, but he is also quite creative: WhoScored states his ability to carve open defenses with accurate through-balls as a strength. Belotti is unlikely to say no to a club like Real Madrid if they come calling, so this deal could be a smart one for Los Blancos as he can definitely help take some goal-scoring burden off Benzema’s shoulders.
Raul de Tomas: Academy graduate returns home?
Raul de Tomas was one of the most impressive strikers in La Liga last season, producing some really solid numbers for Espanyol. He scored 17 goals in the league last season, saving his side from trouble time and again as well as ensuring they avoided relegation.
RDT is actually a product of the Real Madrid academy and played for their reserves side as well. He’s more than proven himself capable of being a ruthless goal-scorer, having scored 45 goals in 89 appearances for Espanyol.
The 27-year-old is valued at around €25m (as per Transfermarkt), meaning he could be a very reasonable signing. As he proved last season, De Tomas can provide 15+ goals and perhaps even more with the kind of creative support Real Madrid provide.