Real Madrid need what Luka Jovic can offer to the attack

Luka Jovic of Real Madrid (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Luka Jovic of Real Madrid (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid produced their worst performance vs. Cadiz since the start of 2019-2020, and that match is a reminder of how Luka Jovic can help this club.

Reading too much into Real Madrid‘s performance against Cadiz last Saturday is risky, because it was not the result of one specific failure, but, rather, multiple mistakes coalescing into one larger disaster.

And it was a disaster. That the scoreline reads 1-0 in Cadiz’s favor was nothing but a mercy to Real, who deserved to lose by much more.

A key takeaway from this loss should focus on a player who did not start the match and had a goal called for somebody else being offsides.

Striker Luka Jovic started in back-to-back games for the first time in his Real Madrid career, suiting up for the matches against Real Betis and Real Valladolid. He earned a red card in the first game and played well in the second, nearly scoring on two occasions. Los Blancos won both games.

Jovic has a skill-set that Real needs to make better use of. I understand that Zinedine Zidane has his system with Karim Benzema as the striker who drops deep, moves out wide, and creates havoc with his dribbling skills and creativity. But sometimes – maybe even frequently, against well-organized, compact La Liga defenses – that isn’t best for the matchup.

Luka Jovic, Karim Benzema can mesh well together at Real Madrid

Although Jovic was criticized for not dropping deep or touching the ball frequently against Betis, he really should have been praised for staying away from Benzema and the midfielder, playing off the defensive back line, and creating space for others. A couple of Real’s goals were a consequence of Jovic’s movement clearing out room for other players, whereas Benzema has a tendency to add to the crowd with his playing style. And yes, that was the case against Cadiz.

Real Madrid fans must remember to use a different rubric when evaluating Jovic, because he is a totally different player to Benzema. But that’s exactly why he has so much to offer. With his one-touch passing, sharp finishing, instincts in the box, and subtle movements as an out-and-out No. 9, he can be Real’s biggest goal-scoring threat.

There’s one more thing to mention that is a huge positive with Jovic. Since his skill-set is so different from Benzema’s, the two players can co-exist as a striker partnership. Striker duos have seemingly gone out of style, but they are highly effective when both players are significantly different in their styles and can mesh well. Real’s upcoming Champions League opponents Inter have a dream duo in Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez.

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Jovic and Benzema have shown some emerging chemistry. They don’t get in each other’s way, and they show brilliant moments of link-up play with their clever flicks and awareness. Zidane has something here in Jovic, and he’d be wise to use the player he seemingly asked the club to sign last summer.