Why Real Madrid fans should remain calm about how Erling Haaland fits

Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images) /

With the presumed arrival of Paris Saint Germain forward Kylian Mbappe in the summer transfer window, the next most spoken about transfer story attached for Real Madrid has been their interest in Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland.

Recently there have been reports of Real Madrid being among the top, if not the top choice, on Haaland’s list of preferred next destinations.

The Norwegian has been on Madrid’s radar since his time at Red Bull Salzburg where he was scoring on the likes of Liverpool in the Champions League. And although he’s now regarded as a world-class striker, many still wonder if a transfer to Madrid would suit all parties.

With rumblings of an auction with clubs like Manchester City, PSG, Barcelona, and Bayern Munich, Real Madrid remains very calm in what could be a one-horse race.

Many senior players in Madrid are leaning into the latter stages of their careers or exiting the club altogether this summer, and the hierarchy at Real Madrid understands that they will need to rush in the next era of Galacticos.

Florentino Perez has been rather conservative in recent years when it’s come to transfer dealings, and it’s about time the Madrid faithful see a Ronaldo-Kaka-sized window from their president.

Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka of Real Madrid (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid could have a ‘good problem’ up top

If a certain Frenchman from PSG were to accompany Haaland at the new Bernabeu stadium next season, that would definitely sort Real Madrid’s attack for the next decade and have Madrid in prime position for success in all competitions.

The only thing that could be a wrench in this scenario is that Karim Benzema, 34, has yet to show signs of declining as the main striker of Los Blancos. The striker has put away 17 goals so far this season in La Liga and 5 in the Champions League. So there is some understandable skepticism as to how Haaland could fit in Carlo Ancelotti’s side or why he would want to wait to take over the Frenchman’s position possibly after his contract is up.

But this is a great problem to have if you’re Florentino Perez because even if Haaland is seen as a luxury signing at the moment, the prospect of having a front line of Vinicius-Haaland-Mbappe for the next decade is too enticing for Perez to pass up.

So in this hypothetical scenario let’s look at the type of role Erling could have in this Madrid side next year, and the success that could follow suit.

Looking at how Madrid is currently organized under Ancelotti, he plays in the usual 4-3-3 formation, allowing Benzema to operate as the out and out striker. But with the integration of Haaland in the same line-up as Benzema, Vinicius, and potentially Mbappe, he will either need to break up the reliable midfield trio of Modric, Kroos, and Casemiro, or sit one of Haaland and Benzema to keep the 4-3-3.

In this scenario, we would have the midfield trio separated, with Modric, unfortunately, the odd man out in a 4-2-2-2 formation.

Kylian Mbappe, Real Madrid vs. PSG (Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Kylian Mbappe, Real Madrid vs. PSG (Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /

Here is one possible way to fit Erling Haaland

This system would allow the front four of Vinicius, Haaland, Benzema, and Mbappe to attack the opposition with Carvajal and Mendy supporting in attack, thus taking advantage of spaces left open in the opposition’s half of the field.

The midfield two of Kroos and Casemiro would be able to drop back to protect the back four or navigate forward on the wings or cut inside thus adding another element to their attack.

This 4-2-2-2 system would work well for Karim Benzema, who usually is key attacking build-ups and likes to drift wide in support. Working with Haaland, Benzema would be able to drop back behind Haaland in more of a center-forward position, allowing the wide midfielders in Vinicius and Mbappe to overlap and support Haaland in the final third.

This is just one concept of how a potential eleven would look like next year with Benzema, Mbappe, and Haaland. It would allow Ancelotti to have all the firepower he would need to control La Liga and the Champions League for a long time.

And eventually, when future legends Benzema, Modric, and Kroos eventually move on, the likes of Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe, Vinicius Jr., Eduardo Camavinga, and Federico Valverde would all be able to fill the voids.

The pros and cons of not signing a CB. dark. Next

Regardless of how this ‘auction’ plays out, Florentino Perez is in the process of phasing in this young core of new Galacticos into the new Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, while every other club is playing catch-up.