With just over a week of the transfer window left there are plenty of big name transfers still on the horizon for a host of Europe’s top clubs.
Gareth Bale, Luis Suarez and Wayne Rooney are just three top class want-away Premier League stars who have yet to finalise moves.
This has not surprised me thus far as many notoriously leave it late on in the window to complete their business. What I was intrigued by was the possible trio of departures at Real Madrid.
All three made 50 or more appearances in all competitions for the Spanish giants last year and made a combined contribution of 39 goals with Benzema and Di Maria contributing a total of 36 assists as well. With these kinds of statistics, can Real Madrid really afford to lose these players from their regular starting line ups?
Of course speculation is rife over the ‘imminent’ deal to sign Gareth Bale. This transfer alone is obviously a massive factor given that it is likely to cost a world record fee. With such a large sum being involved; Bale is to become Madrid’s star man, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo; and so there could be justifiable thinking in selling another of their attacking options as collateral.
But if this trio were to depart the Bernabeu; would Bale coming in be enough replacement for Madrid at this stage?
Their central midfield options are fairly well set with Xabi Alonso, Sami Khedira and Luka Modric all in their tenure; it is their attacking options that would be in question.
Their striking options, however, remain far barer. Having already sold Gonzalo Higuain to Napoli Benzema remains their only out-and-out established striker in the squad. They, of course, have a few promising youngsters coming through but to leave the burden on such inexperienced shoulders may be a mistake.
There is chat of renewed interest in Liverpool striker Luis Suarez if the above deals were to go through but, in my opinion, holding onto Benzema and adding Suarez would be the best course of action for Madrid if this was plausible.
Real Madrid’s attacking midfield options would fare far better than their strike force if the proposed trio of transfers goes ahead. Although Kaka hasn’t lit up La Liga like his potential at AC Milan suggested, he is still a decent option to have in your squad, whether or not he is a regular starter. Luka Modric is also available as an attacking midfielder with guile and flare high up in his list of attributes. You then have the obvious weekly selections of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale which would be sufficient for most teams across the world.
The most important point, however, is the signing of both Isco and Asier Illaramendi. Both have already impressed in La Liga and both look like world class talents in the making.
Illaramendi helped the unlikely force of Real Sociedad gain Champions League qualification and was the subject of a transfer fee over £30 million. Isco, formerly of Malaga, interested nearly all top European clubs with impressive displays in La Liga as well as electrifying the European under 21 Championship in Israel this summer.
Both have proven themselves in this league and a combined spending of £50+ million for the two doesn’t suggest they are likely to be benchwarmers. They will need first team football in order to fully develop and the exit of Ozil and Di Maria, often criticised for inconsistency, could be a shrewd move on Ancelotti’s part.
Angel Di Maria and Mesut Ozil are fantastic squad players to have, but with Isco, Illaramendi and Bale all transferred in this summer; Madrid need to balance the books somehow and they could do worse than move these two on. If they are to sell Karim Benzema, my suggestion is they clinch a deal for Suarez in advance and possibly even invest in another squad striker.
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