Why did Real Madrid sign Luka Jovic in the first place?

Real Madrid, Luka Jovic, Florentino Perez (Photo by Marcos del Mazo/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Luka Jovic, Florentino Perez (Photo by Marcos del Mazo/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

Real Madrid completed the signing of Luka Jovic in 2019 from Eintracht Frankfurt as he was the young attacker that every major club was after during that summer. After a stellar season just before the summer, it’s no surprise that many Real Madrid fans were excited to see what the Serbian had in store for the club. However, things have not gone to plan for the player who very likely will find himself out of the club this summer. Only three years since his signing, it’s worth wondering why did the club sign him in the first place?

For a few years now, Los Blancos have been scouting young talent from around the world in all positions and for the most part, the club has done very well. Vinicius Junior has made the left flank his own, Rodrygo Goes has shown that he can be the difference-maker in big games and Eder Militao has taken his quick rise to the top firmly and has proven to be a demolishing addition to the team. Last summer, Real Madrid even added Eduardo Camavinga to their midfield of the future. However, finding the correct striker has been problematic. That is until Luka Jovic.

Luka Jovic recorded 27goals and six assists during his last season at Eintracht Frankfurt, which is not a bad tally for a young striker at 21. He made a name for himself and became the talk of the town. The Serbian striker looked like he was destined for big things as he was linked with many top European clubs. The following summer, contracts were signed and he was a very welcome Comunicado Oficial from the biggest club in the world.

He arrived at Real Madrid not to be a starter but to be the backup of the most in-form striker in the world in Karim Benzema. One that has no equal to the way he plays in modern football. He came to learn, to soak up all the information he can get, and then one day, to take over. When a player of his age makes the move to the top, the bright lights could be the motivating factor to help reach limits you were destined for or they could be blinding. For Luka Jovic, neither turned out to be true. The lights were discombobulating.

He arrived at the request of the manager at the time, Zinedine Zidane. That alone speaks volumes of his abilities. The manager and the club were aware of what he could offer, which is something very different from Benzema. He is a pure number nine. Give Jovic the ball in the box and begin your celebrations. That was the reputation he had and that is why Real Madrid banked on him and rightly so. Even now as many have understandably given up on him, you can see the killer instinct he has.

However, luck has not always been in his favor.

Real Madrid, Luka Jovic (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Luka Jovic (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Jovic struggled to get minutes, something that is absolutely vital to all players but more so when it comes to young talent. With consistency at Eintracht Frankfurt, we saw him reach heights that we never saw from him again. Even when he returned to the German club on loan, he struggled to get many goals after starting off brightly. Now that he finds himself back at Real Madrid, the struggle has not stopped.

Is Jovic to blame for the poor performances we have seen from him over the past two seasons? Unfortunately, this isn’t an easy one-word answer. It’s a yes but he’s not the only one. The manager (whether Zidane or Ancelotti) needs to shoulder some blame as well for one simple reason: Benzema and Jovic are two very different players and therefore you can’t expect the same output from both when you play the same formation. This is why some sections of Real Madrid Twitter would prefer Mariano Diaz over Jovic, it’s because Mariano runs more and tracks back often while Jovic is a pure finisher. Like I said earlier, give him the ball and begin your celebrations.

This isn’t to say that the striker is not getting his chances. He is. But the issue then becomes failing to impress. It seems like all the luck in the world has escaped him in front of goal recently, we even saw it in the most recent league game against Villarreal. He came on from the bench and saw his attempt to chip the goalkeeper hit the crossbar.

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Luka Jovic was never signed to be a “new Karim Benzema”. He was signed to be a backup striker. It is an absolute disservice to him to forget what he had done to deserve his move to Real Madrid. Make no mistake, he deserved it. Things have not gone to plan for him and maybe his luck will change between now and the end of the season. He has a lot of ground to cover and he should be the next person on the list right after Benzema which has not been the case in recent weeks.

He is a brilliant striker and just because things are not working out for him here, it doesn’t mean he isn’t good. It just means that he’s not the right fit for a club like Real Madrid.