Real Madrid’s planning: It was a perfectly measured plan, but Benzema ‘blew it’

Advertisement

Real Madrid’s 2023/24 sports schedule is being debated at the beginning of the season for two indisputable facts: the lack of goals and the lack of strikers in the squad.

Los Blancos have the worst conversion rate in the last decade and only have four strikers on the roster, enough arguments to accuse the sports authorities of poor season planning.

However, according to the newspaper Marca, Real Madrid had a perfectly planned strategy long before the end of last season and it was blown up at the beginning of June when Karim Benzema decided to leave for Saudi Arabia and when there was no room left for maneuvering.

Real Madrid’s plans, of course, were not to face the season with Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo Goes, Joselu and Brahim Diaz as the only strikers. The plan drawn up in March and April had Benzema in the centre-forward position and covered the three summer departures: Marco Asensio, Mariano Diaz and Eden Hazard.

Brahim was chosen to “play” Ascension and for the replacements of Mariano and Hazard there were several names on the table, where Joselu and Arda Guler were finally chosen.

Real Madrid were clear that this would be their attack and that the star signing of the season would be Jude Bellingham, a contract that began to simmer more than a year ago and required a significant financial effort to grab European football star: more than 100 million euros.

The Royals had chosen Bellingham and didn’t have the money for more. Above all, because the big spend was (and is) prepared for the summer of 2024: Kylian Mbappe (most likely) or Erling Haaland. Los Blancos expected Benzema to leave in 2024 rather than 2023, so there was no budget to sign a big striker this season.

Neither Kane nor Mbappe…

The moment Benzema left Real Madrid, the names of the best strikers began to be heard for the club.

The first was Harry Kane, a player that the sporting directors of Real Madrid did not consider at any time for two reasons: his price and the fact that he has another target for 2024.

It is important to highlight the economic issue, as Florentino Perez and Jose Angel Sanchez manage the club’s finances down to the millimeter, without doing crazy things that could upset the final financial balance. Therefore, the second name that appeared on the scene this summer was not appreciated either: Mbappe.

Advertisement

The case of Mbappe, whose signature Real Madrid will try to sign for next season (for free but paying a significant price), broke out because of PSG’s refusal to let him go in 2024, not because due to any movement from the royal club.

Real Madrid was clear at every moment that it could not afford an operation of 400 million euros and not even with Kane, even if other figures were to be talked about.

The signing of the season was Bellingham, and almost the entire financial amount budgeted for the transfer market went to him. After discussing what to do with the attack at the Bernabeu, it was agreed that signing another world-class striker was counterproductive in the face of Mbappe or Haaland surgery and that it was time to go with what they had, even if it wasn’t the best solution. well in the short term.

The wingers

The season schedule had two players per position at all positions. In the 22/23 season, a weakness was discovered on the left wing and therefore Real Madrid chose Fran Garcia to cover the losses due to Ferland Mendy’s physical problems.

For the right-back, it was decided to continue with Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez, leaving the door open for next season for some of the ‘old’ players to leave.

For the left wing, there is also a plan for the 2024/25 season: Alphonso Davies.

The center of defense has not been left to chance either, with Rafa Marin, on loan at Alaves, as a candidate to join Eder Militao, David Alaba, Antonio Rudiger and Nacho in the squad.

His arrival would complete that back four and also ease Nacho’s possible departure if he does not decide to execute the automatic renewal for next year, which he signed in June.

Advertisement