Real Madrid, more specifically, Florentino Perez, gets a lot of praise for the way the finances of the club are. In the pandemic, when almost every club in the world took a hit financially, Los Blancos came out stronger and are now in a position where they can spend a lot of money. Indeed, the Galacticos’ 200 million offer for Kylian Mbappe, a player who had just another year left in his contract at that point in time, is a testament to the spending power that the Merengues have.
Many have praised the transfer strategy of the biggest club in Spain but a deeper look perhaps reveals the crevices that most of us may have ignored.
Let’s talk about the man of the hour, the player for whom the Galacticos have bet all the chips: Kylian Mbappe Lottin.
Florentino Perez wanted to sign him last summer but PSG’s stubbornness meant that the Frenchman couldn’t wear the famous White. Despite the setback, it was almost assured that the World Cup winner will join the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer of 2022.
Real Madrid bet all their chips on Kylian Mbappe
And while he still may end up playing at the Bernabeu, some recent reports have suggested that he could, in fact, sign an extension with the French giants.
Just imagine for a second: Mbappe indeed signs an extension. As harrowing as it may be, just imagine it.
What happens then? What does Madrid do to fill up the goal-scoring void that is left by the team in the absence of Karim Benzema?
Erling Haaland will surely not be available to sign in a few weeks’ time and his injury record also suggests that he may not be the best player to bring to the club. Madrid is not even finished with the memories of Eden Hazard.
If not Mbappe and Haaland, who else? Karim Adeyemi? He is already on the brink of joining Borussia Dortmund. Julian Alvarez? Already a Citizen.
The list is quite thin and maybe one could say Nkunku but this is a 24-year-old guy having his breakthrough season in terms of scoring. He is someone who had never before even touched 10 goals in a season and is playing in the Bundesliga (but I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt since he didn’t really play as the main striker of his teams).
With such a lack of alternatives, we have to ask ourselves: if not Mbappe, then who?
Real Madrid might be praised for their approach in the transfer market but when the fans go into a frenzy with reports of Mbappe signing an extension, it makes you wonder whether this pursuit was really healthy, both emotionally and logically.
Los Blancos saved up to sign the Frenchman, avoiding glaring holes in the team (RB, CDM, RW, general lack of depth among many others).
So if–God forbid–Madrid misses out on Mbappe, it should mentally and spiritually crush the fans. And that’s the inscrutable thing: Madrid should never be devastated about missing out on a player; it is the player who should be frustrated for missing the Madrid train.
What could Perez have done differently, you may ask. The answer to that can always be found whenever Madrid plays without Benzema. Real Madrid simply doesn’t have a proper unit of players. When it comes to superstar individuals, the Galacticos have plenty but not in every facet of the pitch (look at the right-wing of the Merengues).
Look at it this way: Perez refrained from strengthening the team in the last two years just to get Mbappe. Two years later, Mbappe is still at PSG and what does Madrid get? A 4-0 humiliation at the Santiago Bernabeu to a club eliminated from the Europa League. (Although, Ancelotti’s shocking coaching decisions also played a huge role in that.)
Madrid might still be challenging for the Champions League and LaLiga, but when you remove Benzema from this team, does Madrid really compete on any front? To answer that, look at the results of this year’s Copa del Rey.
On the other hand, if Florentino Perez strengthened at least the right side of the team with just one world-class signing of a right-winger or a right-back, Madrid would have been in a better state now and on top of that, Mbappe would be coming to a stronger team.
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Right now, however, there are a lot of gaps to fill for the Merengues even if Mbappe is signed and that is not really exciting news.
All in all, even if Mbappe comes to the club, the fact that Madrid fans stressed for two years for a single player–when it should have been the other way around–and that the needs of the team in itself were ignored in the process is why I consider this transfer approach as a failure.