3 reasons why it’s OK if Real Madrid lose Erling Haaland to Manchester City

Dortmund, Erling Haaland (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Dortmund, Erling Haaland (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Karim Benzema
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images) /

Erling Haaland can replace Karim Benzema later

This final reason is a synthesis of the first two. Karim Benzema is in the midst of another ridiculously good season at Real Madrid. He was brilliant last year and should have been higher in the Ballon d’Or rankings, with some of his finest work coming at the beginning of the 2020/21 season when he just could not stop scoring.

Benzema has turned up the heat lately, too, delivering one of the best performances in Champions League history with a rapid-fire hat-trick to lead Los Blancos past PSG after being down 2-0 on aggregate. Very Cristiano Ronaldo-esque.

This season, the 34-year-old Frenchman has 20 goals and 10 assists in LaLiga with an additional 8 goals in the Champions League and 2 goals in the Spanish Supercup. With over 40 goal contributions already in the campaign, Benz is nowhere near slowing down. He still has a few years left in him, though, obviously, he and the club would wisely take things year by year.

Some have suggested that Erling Haaland wait one year before joining Los Merengues because Benzema is in his prime. (Yes, a 34-year-old can be in their prime when they are playing as well as Benzema is.) However, Benz may be at this level for more than one additional year. He could still be a top starter and better than Haaland for two to three more years, as he is a more complete player and more well-rounded than the Norwegian, despite the areas in which Haaland is superior athletically and as a pure goal-scorer (though the scoring part may be debatable).

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Meanwhile, since Manchester City seem so friendly with letting players go if a cycle has ended, there should not be any worries on Madrid’s end that if he were to join this particular club, he would never make his way to Madrid. Haaland could conceivably star for City for a few years then leave for Real near his prime, one year before his contract ends. Cristiano Ronaldo, Mbappe, and other great Real Madrid players have taken this path. Haaland could, too. After all, Real missed out on Mbappe to PSG as a signing from Monaco, and now Mbappe will be a Madridista as an even better (and more complete) attacking player.