Real Madrid Transfers: 8 young strikers who can replace Karim Benzema one day

Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by Diego Souto/ Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by Diego Souto/ Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Carlo Ancelotti would like Real Madrid to sign a new backup striker in the summer 2022 transfer window. While it is more likely for Los Blancos to go the cheaper route and either recall Borja Mayoral from his loan to Getafe or even promote Juanmi Latasa from Castilla, it is not out of the question for the Merengues to make a signing.

Gabriel Jesus and Raul de Tomas are two popular names linked to Madrid, but I don’t think the club will invest 30-50 million euros in a striker currently in their prime years. It would make more sense for them to sign a young player who is good enough to back up Karim Benzema but also has the upside to become the starter up top themselves.

Of course, Real may want to wait to sign a young striker until Erling Haaland’s release clause is available, just so they can have all the cards on the table. In that case, they could still sign one of these players, if they feel there is a better deal out there than Haaland – or if Haaland decides he loves Manchester City and won’t leave. Even then, Benzema could still be entrenched as the main man, as he seems unstoppable.

Here are seven players to watch, either in 2022 as immediate backups for Benz or in 2023 or 2024 as future Benz backups if Latasa or Mayoral are chosen as “free” options for 2022/23.

Erling Haaland

Let’s quickly discuss Erling Haaland, because he is the obvious one. And if Kylian Mbappe had not have played Real Madrid for months in order to get a historic financial/decision-making deal from PSG, then Haaland would have already been a Merengue.

If Real can sign him for 150 million euros in two years and do not see a better deal on the market (meaning, if none of the other players on this list like Youssoufa Moukoko, Karim Adeyemi, Endrick, or Rayan Cherki explode), then they will jump at the opportunity to sign the world-class Norwegian.

Rayan Cherki

Rayan Cherki is like Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni, who are both current Real Madrid players. That is to say, Cherki is a touted Ligue 1 prospect who has been linked to Real for years, monitored by the Merengues, and even dreams of the club.

It will take time for Cherki to develop, but he was already one of the leaders in Europe among U21 players in key passes and dribbles completed per 90 minutes. He has as much upside as anyone on this list.

Youssoufa Moukoko

Youssoufa Moukoko seemed to be pushing to leave Borussia Dortmund, but after the club fired Marco Rose, who rubbed the club the wrong way with his attitude and was bizarrely against giving the team’s top prospects any minutes, it seems he will stay.

Which is good for Real Madrid. They would prefer to watch Moukoko develop before making a move. Moukoko is indeed the kind of high-upside striker to watch closely. He has set records as the youngest goal-scorer in the history of the Bundesliga, the most prolific youth scorer, and the youngest Champions League player ever. Watch him very closely.

Amine Gouiri

Amine Gouiri models his game after Karim Benzema. If Real Madrid were to sign a striker this summer and not in 2023 or even 2024, Nice’s star man is the best option. He is the best all-around young striker in the world and the only player who could truly ever hope to directly replace Benzema’s skill-set.

Last season, the 22-year-old had 10 goals and 9 assists. If Christophe Galtier did a better job of managing, Gouiri could have produced even bigger numbers. He is a special player.

Hugo Ekitike

And so is a third Ligue 1 talent, Hugo Ekitike. Before Dortmund secured the signature of Karim Adeyemi from RB Salzburg after months of courting the German international, they were interested in signing the young French striker.

Ekitike has jaw-dropping potential and is already one of the most prolific forwards in his league. A pure scorer, the silky Ekitike found the back of the net 10 times in Ligue 1 and even provided 3 assists. He is just 19 years old, too.


The 15-year-old Palmeiras sensation Endrick just signed his pro deal with the Brazilian powerhouse, which includes a robust release clause of 60 million euros. That might make Endrick more expensive than anyone else on this list.

It is almost impossible to envision Real signing Endrick this summer for such a fee. He is definitely one for the future. But as we saw with his stunning bicycle kick, he is a rare talent. Endrick and Moukoko are the two most exciting talents on this list in terms of their goal-scoring upside. But it may be too early to tell with Endrick. That said, if Benzema keeps playing at this high of a level, perhaps he could start as Benz’s backup in a future transfer window.

Mohamed-Ali Cho

Mohamed-Ali Cho is in LaLiga now, as Real Sociedad have signed the teenager from Angers. He is just as exciting as any of the other Ligue 1 talents on this list, with even more upside than Hugo Ekitike. Cho’s 12 million euro move to La Real means that he won’t be cheap in a few years whenever Real could sign him, but the Merengues will get a close look at the player nonetheless. If Madridistas liked Alexander Isak at one point, they will see that Cho is an even bigger talent.

Karim Adeyemi

A second Dortmund player? Adeyemi has been on Real Madrid’s radar for a while, as they were also interested in the German striker, along with Dortmund’s big rivals Bayern. Adeyemi wisely chose BVB in order to get immediate playing time and boost his stock like another former Salzburg superstar, Erling Haaland.

Dortmund are paying over 30 million euros for Adeyemi, so you had better believe they aim on selling him for at least double that amount in a couple of years. By then, Benzema may be entering his final season at Real Madrid, meaning Adeyemi could get one year as an understudy.

Why Aurelien Tchouameni was not too expensive for Real Madrid. dark. Next

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He is another exciting talent and is widely seen as the future of German football, alongside teammate Moukoko. The Merengues will 100 percent be attentive to their former transfer target, whom they are probably happy is developing at a club friendly to them in the Black and Yellows.