Real Madrid: Does Signing Dominik Szoboszlai Make Sense?

Dominik Szoboszlai (Photo by ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images)
Dominik Szoboszlai (Photo by ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images) /

Real Madrid may reportedly attempt to sign Dominik Szoboszlai in the winter – is he worth it, though?

Real Madrid are reportedly in the hunt for the talented, sought-after midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai, who plays as a forward or attacking midfielder at Red Bull Salzburg, according to BILD.

It is said in the report that the Hungarian prodigy is the player Zinedine Zidane wants in his squad as soon as possible. He may act as a much-needed attacking option, something Zidane’s been in the need of ever since the Frenchman returned for a second stint at the club as manager.

There are as many negatives with this as there are positives. He could become the next big thing at the club. He could also turn into another Jovic, someone who was considered to be the next big thing in his position but has been struggling for game time ever since arriving at the club. That’s not to say he’s not talented, but with that I mean it’s easy for talented players to not get minutes at the club, because there may be many players in the same position who are better or more experienced – or both.

That’s the problem with youngsters arriving at big clubs prematurely: In the years where they need game time and a lot of it, they struggle for the same competing with, arguably, better players in that position. My good friend Kevin pointed this and a lot more stuff out in his piece, which is a great read.

There are its positives as well. For example, if Zidane (allegedly) feels that Szoboszlai is the player he needs to turn his season around and that he is good enough to start at the club, the player must be very good. At the moment,  if we look at his primary attacking position and the players that the club has there at its disposal, he is better than Isco, a player who has also struggled for minutes in the past two seasons, as his form has regressed significantly from his 2016/17 season. He would be a great upgrade on him in a lot of ways.

He is more explosive than Isco. He’s also a better goal scorer than he is, and that, again, is something that the club needs right now. So, if the team plays a diamond, he can play at that position, but also is capable of accompanying Karim Benzema up top.

So, yes, he can very well be the replacement for Isco, even more so now that Isco is also rumoured to be heading out. It’s not exactly like-for-like, but it would work. He has all the traits necessary to be above Isco in the pecking order even now. That’s concerning for a player like Isco because he played a crucial part in making sure the 2016-17 season how panned out like it was supposed to. He was one of the best players in the world at that time. To see him have a fall in levels is very disappointing, and truth be told, kind of sad. Anyway, back to Szobolszlai.

Here, we have a couple of problems. At that same position as Isco and Szobolzlai (the tip of the diamond, or a creative hub that moves between the lines and creates a lot of chances in a three-man midfield, and in the Hungarian’s case, scores a lot) plays Martin Odegaard; a player who — although is a little different stylistically — is every bit as talented (maybe even more), has more experience and has already proven to be a big help in chance creation for Real Madrid, among a lot of other things that go under the radar. Szoboszlai is also a good chance-creator and a good scorer. But, would he be good enough to bench Odegaard for? I don’t think so.

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Another question: No offense to Dominik Szoboszlai, by the way, but we’ve seen so many young players that perform very well in one season (or in one league) but then regress the season (or in a different league) after. I’m sure he’s a good player right now, but who’s to say that he carries his form over to Real Madrid, a club where so many players have faced the ax due to not performing as well as they’re expected to? Or, for not being able to handle the pressure? Exactly my point.