The real reason why Real Madrid don’t believe in Luka Jovic

Real Madrid, Luka Jovic (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Luka Jovic (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images) /

Let’s get this out of the way first. And if you happen to love Luka Jovic, I am sorry to be the one to tell you this. But Real Madrid don’t believe in him. They quite clearly do not believe in him. If it were up to them, they would find a suitable destination for him this coming summer and replace him with Erling Haaland.

Because if you signed someone for 60 million euros three years ago and are already hotly pursuing the next big thing at striker, then, clearly, you do not believe in your initial investment. And if said player is involved in transfer rumors every single window without any strong public backing from the president or manager, then this is indeed a player the team is OK with parting ways with.

Now, to be clear, Real Madrid don’t hate Jovic. They won’t even sell or loan him this winter, because he is too important to the team as Karim Benzema’s backup. Jovic is a great striker. Real acknowledge this. They paid 60 million euros for him for a reason. And he showed his quality in wins over Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid.

So why don’t Los Blancos believe in a 24-year-old striker who was a hero for Eintracht Frankfurt in 2018-2019 and has had some great moments for his current club?

Luka Jovic is not in the mold of a Real Madrid No. 9

The answer is simple. It’s not about an agenda. It’s not about quality. It’s not about money. It’s about something so fundamental, and I cannot comprehend why more fans do not understand this.

It’s about fit. Luka Jovic does not fit Real Madrid.

Look at everything Karim Benzema brings to the table. What he represents as a striker. Goal-scoring. Creativity. Dribbling. Creating magic from nothing. Defensive work-rate. Attacking intelligence. Leadership. Clutch factor. Taking on responsibility. Never going invisible. Think of all the larger-than-life No. 9’s in Madrid history. And answer this question, honesty. Is Jovic like the No. 9’s at Madrid?

He is not. That does not mean he is bad. It just means he is not what this team is looking for or what this team needs.

Being a No. 9 at Real Madrid is perhaps the most difficult task in football. There is a constant pressure to score, to assist, and to be visible. You can have a bad game. Maybe even a bad week. But never a bad month. Or an invisible match.

Erling Haaland is the personality Real Madrid want up top

Jovic is invisible in too many matches. He will get opportunities in the Copa del Rey, as he did against Elche, and produce nothing of note. There will be games where it is hard to distinguish him. Not because he is lazy. Not because he is inadequate. But because he is not that kind of striker.

A No. 9 at Real Madrid needs to help set up the inverted wingers to score. This player must be capable with the ball, both in terms of passing into the box and in terms of beating people one-on-one. They do not have to be a 9, 7, and 10 rolled into one. That is the standard Benzema has set. But they do need to be able to bring an element of speed and agility on the ball, as well as creativity to make difficult passes in tight areas.

Jovic does not do these things. And for a Real Madrid team that is now focused on speed in transition, Jovic does not have the speed to run with Vinicius Jr. How could he be a building block for a front three with Vini and Kylian Mbappe on either side of him?

Now you see why Real Madrid want Erling Haaland. Jovic is very good. Great, even. But he is not the best of the best. He does not have the speed, the all-around production in the final third, the skills, or the larger-than-life character that commands the ball and the spotlight. Haaland does.

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Real Madrid do not believe in Jovic because they believe in Haaland. They believe in the Dortmund man’s production, personal characteristics, and athletic ability. They believe in how he translates to Los Blancos, whereas they believe they made a miscalculation with Jovic. And if the opportunity arrives, they will make the swap of young, talented striker for younger, better striker this summer. Without a moment’s hesitation.