Real Madrid: The problem with trying to sign Dominik Szoboszlai

Dominik Szoboszlai (Photo by Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images)
Dominik Szoboszlai (Photo by Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid have been linked to RB Salzburg’s newest breakout star Dominik Szoboszlai, but here’s why he may not be the best fit for the club.

Whenever there’s an emerging breakout star in European football, it won’t take long for Real Madrid to be linked to them. After his sensational goal to send Hungary to the Euros, Dominik Szoboszlai was quickly linked to Real Madrid, even though he seems to be bound for RB Salzburg’s sister club, RB Leipzig.

Szoboszlai is an exciting player. He is just 20 but has already scored twice in the Champions League with a whopping three key passes per game, according to Szoboszlai is the quintessential center attacking midfielder with his shooting from distance and ability to create clear-cut chances for opponents.

So in terms of talent, he is the caliber of player Real Madrid should be looking at. Anyone who has the potential to be one of the best players in the world at his position should intrigue Real.

The problem is the position in particular. Attacking midfielders are not a scarce commodity, but you can really only have one in your formation. In six appearances for Salzburg this season, Szoboszlai has started twice on the left and four times in the middle.

Both positions are talent-rich positions for Los Blancos and most other big clubs. They have Eden Hazard, Vinicius Junior, and Rodrygo Goes capable of playing on the left, and all three are more accomplished than Szoboszlai right now. And in the middle, they can play Isco, Marco Asensio, and Martin Odegaard. Takefusa Kubo can also be a center attacking midfielder. We can say that Szoboszlai has more upside than Asensio and Isco, but is he really a better prospect or more productive player than Kubo or Odegaard? I’m not sure about that.

So Szoboszlai is extremely talented, but his path to playing time at Real Madrid is almost non-existent. He isn’t really a system fit for Zinedine Zidane, and if Zidane were to try to accommodate an attacking midfielder, why would he want to spend money on Szoboszlai when he could just use Odegaard? Real Madrid can only sign so many talented young players, and the likes of Eduardo Camavinga, Jules Kounde, Erling Haaland, and, of course, Kylian Mbappe are much bigger priorities at greater positions of need.

Szoboszlai needs to play. He doesn’t have much experience, and he is going to be making a step up in competition at his next destination. As Haaland has shown at Borussia Dortmund, players at Salzburg who are productive in the Champions League shouldn’t have issues with that leap. Though Haaland is a special prospect. Szoboszlai’s transition could be somewhere in between Haaland’s and Dortmund and Takumi Minamino’s at Liverpool.

Either way, he needs to play, and Szoboszlai realizes this. His agent literally said that Szoboszlai will move somewhere he can get regular playing time.

Does that sound like Real Madrid to you? If Martin Odegaard has started as many games as he’s come off the bench, Luka Jovic can scarcely get a minute, and Rodrygo Goes is a bench player, what are the chances of Szoboszlai starting every game at such a competitive club?

Next. The 5 players Real Madrid should have never sold. dark

The chances are basically zero. Szoboszlai is a wonderful player, but in terms of what he needs and where he’s at in his career as a center attacking midfielder, a move to Real Madrid just doesn’t make much sense for either party.