Real Madrid: The five biggest questions going into 2021

Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos (Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos (Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Kylian Mbappe
Kylian Mbappe (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images) /

Which attacker will Real Madrid sign?

Kylian Mbappe is the No. 1 target, and I am not about to question that at all. It would be foolish for me to sit here and tell you that there is a single player who can make a difference to Real Madrid in the way that Mbappe can. What he’s accomplished to this point in his career at the age of 22 puts him on a trajectory to be among the greats, and he is the exact kind of talent whom Florentino Perez and Los Blancos crave. Mbappe is the player you can build a brand around.

According to, only living legends Robert Lewandowski and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have more goals and assists per 90 minutes than Mbappe in league play among Europe’s top five leagues this season. That’s elite company. And no, I don’t want to hear your “Farmer’s League” comments, please save those for your debates with the unimaginative hive-minded stans of Football Twitter.

Mbappe, however, will be expensive. PSG will ask for every cent possible from Real Madrid, if they even sell him at all. The goal at PSG is like the goal at Real Madrid; they want a Champions League title. They came oh-so-close to one this year, and they will stop at nothing until they win one, even if that means swallowing a loss of over 100 million euros by not selling Mbappe in 2021.

Mauricio Pochettino could be the man to help PSG exorcise their Champions League demons. “Could” is the operative word. And that operative word applies even more strongly to Mbappe. He is of inestimable value to Real Madrid, but also to PSG.

Alternatives? Mohamed Salah comes to mind, but that’s it. He’s the only top-scoring wide forward who can start on the right side in a front three with Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard. Everyone else simply isn’t worth the investment for Real Madrid, and, even then, Salah is still the backup plan. Mbappe is Plan A and always has been, but Real must face the reality that they might not get him in 2021.