Vinicius Jr.’s rise means Erling Haaland is no longer a necessity for Real Madrid

Real Madrid, Vinicius Jr. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Vinicius Jr. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images) /

Imagine if Real Madrid had listened to some sections of the fanbase and sold Vinicius Jr. after his second season at the club. The thought itself should send a shiver down the spine of Madridistas right now.

But to be fair to be them, only a select few saw how far the Brazilian could reach, and thankfully, Carlo Ancelotti was one of them. Even then, however, one can’t be sure as to whether the former Milan manager expected him to hit the heights that he has reached so far this season.

Such has been the influence of the young Brazilian that every manager in LaLiga tries to set up a special tactical cage against him, pitting at least two players against the former Flamengo starlet.

But it doesn’t matter. And honestly, it never did: Vinicius, running at the defenders, was always very difficult to defend against. When he receives the ball and runs at the defenders, it feels like a hippo just noticed its prey from underwater and is about to absolutely dismantle it within the next few seconds.

Vinicius Jr.’s importance to Real Madrid becomes clear when he doesn’t play

The only thing that has changed now is that he can produce something special at the end of it.

Before, it happened once every five to seven times. Now, it happens almost 90% of the time. Vinicius is now an unstoppable monster, and the numbers are there for us to see.

A quick glance at the stats shows that he has scored 14 goals and assisted 7 times in the 26 matches that he has played so far. But that only tells half the story: the other half becomes apparent when one watches a Madrid match in which he doesn’t play.

In the last two games, where the Brazilian was out after contracting COVID, Real Madrid’s attack felt like a peacock without its wings. Considering that he is only 21 years of age, this is madness. And with this madness, comes a rather difficult question: should Real Madrid sign Erling Braut Haaland.

Dortmund, Erling Haaland
Dortmund, Erling Haaland (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images) /

If all goes well, the Norwegian will end up being the best striker of this decade, regardless of which team he plays in. The former Red Bull Salzburg forward is not only a great scorer but also seems to have the mentality required to make it big on the grandest stage.

Would Erling Haaland over-complicate things?

Any team would be lucky to have him. Any team; including Real Madrid. But the question is: should they?

The signing of Kylian Mbappe seems to be set in stone at this point. With his arrival, the right-wing problems of Madrid will be solved momentarily. However, there are reservations about the Frenchman’s willingness to play there in the long run.

Indeed, the PSG forward hasn’t started from the right this season and has exclusively played either as a centre-forward or on the left. With the rise of Vinicius, it seems almost impossible for the former Monaco star to play on the left when he eventually arrives at the Bernabeu.

This leaves him with only one choice for now: play on the right to accommodate the trio of Vinicius, Benzema, and Mbappe. This could, however, change once the legendary No. 9 of Real Madrid leaves the club.

But then, things might have to stay the same if Haaland is also signed. For the Norwegian, there is only one position: centre-forward. If he is signed, there is no way that he will be played anywhere else.

PSG, Kylian Mbappe
Real Madrid transfer target Kylian Mbappe (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images) /

And this creates a problem for Madrid: especially in the long run.

What if Kylian Mbappe does not want to be a RW?

What if Mbappe asks to not be played on the right anymore? As a manager, how could you possibly solve the situation? Sure, one could possibly use a two-striker system to fit both Haaland and Mbappe in the centre, but where does that leave Vinicius?

These are some of the burning questions that the club will have to find answers to. In the best-case scenario, Mbappe is happy to play on the right and allow Haaland and Vinicius to take the centre and left, respectively.

But if we have learned anything from football history, it is that the best-case scenarios rarely happen. As they say, pray for the best but prepare for the worst and in this case, the worst could lead to something very ugly that Madrid, as a respectable institution, would like to avoid.

There is also the possibility that one of Haaland or Mbappe could be let go of down the line to solve the conundrum. That too, however, could be a potentially problematic affair.

The other scenario would be to let go of Vinicius but at this point, it is simply unthinkable.

In conclusion, Madrid would make a brilliant acquisition in Haaland, should they be able to sign him. He, Vinicius, and Mbappe could form the deadliest trio in world football, helping the club win a lot of trophies along the way.

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But trophies are almost guaranteed to come with the signing of Mbappe alone. With Vini on the left, Mbappe in the centre, and Rodrygo/Asensio on the right (or Peter, hopes the cantera-lover in me), the Galacticos would still have a deadly trio.

So, the final question is: are the potential problems that come with the signing of Haaland worth the trouble for Madrid?