Mariano Diaz: Madrid’s Dark Horse

MADRID, SPAIN - AUGUST 31: Mariano Diaz Mejia of Real Madrid CF, Florentino Perez President of Real Madrid during the Presentation Mariano Diaz of Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on August 31, 2018 in Madrid Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - AUGUST 31: Mariano Diaz Mejia of Real Madrid CF, Florentino Perez President of Real Madrid during the Presentation Mariano Diaz of Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on August 31, 2018 in Madrid Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Is Benzema suffering from fatigue? Can Mariano be the solution to Real Madrid’s striker problems?

Mariano Diaz returned to Madrid after a successful stint at Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyon. With his time at Lyon, he was integrated into the system rather quickly. They immediately saw the high motor, creativity, and finishing ability Mariano had to offer. He played as a centre-forward for the French side scoring 21 goals in 30 starts. With 18 of those goals coming from within the league he found himself tied for a top 5 spot in the entire league for goals, along with 2 of his other teammates.

Mariano was a late signing for Madrid and actually wasn’t going to be brought in until Sevilla was able to activate a release in his contract with Lyon. Then Real Madrid came in and swooped him away from Sevilla giving Mariano the return he dreamed of. He has made remarks about Madrid claiming ‘when they make the call they are hard to say no’ to, cementing the respect and opportunities he has from the club.

At 25 years old Mariano has plenty of time to make a stamp on his career. With Benzema getting up there in age this seems to be the opportunity for Mariano to show the world why he took the iconic number “7” jersey for Los Blancos.

MADRID, SPAIN – AUGUST 31: Mariano Diaz of Real Madrid during his official presentation at Santiago Bernabeu stadium on August 31, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Pedro Castillo/Real Madrid via Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN – AUGUST 31: Mariano Diaz of Real Madrid during his official presentation at Santiago Bernabeu stadium on August 31, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Pedro Castillo/Real Madrid via Getty Images) /

So far this season we have only seen three appearances from Mariano, he has only played 78 minutes for the club. In these minutes he was able to score a beautifully curled bender to the top right in Italy against Roma in the Champions League.

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The lack of minutes has some Madrid fans confused after they got to experience that goal in Italy, also with Benzema having somewhat inconsistent form, and getting up there in age, it would seem this is a perfect opportunity to show the world, Mariano Diaz. The question is when do we finally get to see him start and play the majority of a match.

It seems so far that when Madrid needs a burst of energy offensively, and to keep the pressure high Mariano is the answer for that. The problem is he is not getting into the game early and often enough to make a significant enough impact.

BILBAO, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 15: Mariano Diaz Mejia of Real Madrid CF, Nacho Fernandez ¬Nacho¬ of Real Madrid CF, Alvaro Odriozola of Real Madrid CF, Dani Ceballos Fernandez of Real Madrid CF, Keylor Navas Gamboa of Real Madrid CF, Lucas Vazquez Iglesias of Real Madrid CF during the La Liga Santander match between Athletic de Bilbao v Real Madrid at the Estadio San Mames on September 15, 2018 in Bilbao Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
BILBAO, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 15: Mariano Diaz Mejia of Real Madrid CF, Nacho Fernandez ¬Nacho¬ of Real Madrid CF, Alvaro Odriozola of Real Madrid CF, Dani Ceballos Fernandez of Real Madrid CF, Keylor Navas Gamboa of Real Madrid CF, Lucas Vazquez Iglesias of Real Madrid CF during the La Liga Santander match between Athletic de Bilbao v Real Madrid at the Estadio San Mames on September 15, 2018 in Bilbao Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

What Madridistas want to see is the torch being passed down to their new number 7, there have been glimpses of magic from the man, and if he is given more opportunity such as the likes of Ceballos and Asensio expectations will not be let down. Especially with Mariano hoping for a call-up from new Spanish National team coach Luis Enrique.

MADRID, SPAIN – NOVEMBER 30: Mariano Diaz of Real Madrid scores his team’s fifth goal past Leandro Montagud of Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa during the Copa del Rey round of 32 second leg match between Real Madrid CF and Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on November 30, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Real Madrid via Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN – NOVEMBER 30: Mariano Diaz of Real Madrid scores his team’s fifth goal past Leandro Montagud of Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa during the Copa del Rey round of 32 second leg match between Real Madrid CF and Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on November 30, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Real Madrid via Getty Images) /

The player is Dominican born, but hoping for a call-up with the Spanish national team after playing in Spain for years. With the uncertainty of who will be starting up front for La Roja, Real Madrid could give Mariano the best chance of stealing the spotlight on the international level as well.

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