Recently, there has been a lot of talk about how Real Madrid can prepare for a future without Karim Benzema. The superstar striker was the best player in the world in the 2021/22 season, scoring over 40 goals and leading Los Blancos to LaLiga, Supercup, and Champions League trophies. His heroics were particularly astonishing during the Champions League run.
But instead of discussing the tall order of filling the No. 9’s shoes in the future, which seems like a job for Erling Haaland, let’s talk about someone Real could sign in the next two transfer windows who could help Benzema and the attack even more.
There are a number of quality options. Bayern Munich’s Serge Gnabry looks like the most achievable, as his contract will run out at the end of the 2022/23 season. Die Roten may have to cash in this summer, and the longer Real wait, the more likely they can get a good deal.
If we are just talking about who is the best player to work with Benzema and strike up a connection with the French icon, then the answer is someone else in the Bundesliga. And yes, I am going to talk about Christopher Nkunku again.
Nkunku is a pricy target, as RB Leipzig know his value. He may also be more interested in joining PSG and working with Kylian Mbappe.
Karim Benzema already connects well with Nkunku on the French national team
However, that doesn’t mean Real Madrid should discard him. It is interesting that a key source of excitement for Kylian Mbappe was a potential partnership with Benzema. Already on the French national team, we are seeing signs of a budding connection between Karim and Nkunku as well. Nkunku spoke about how much he enjoys playing with the legendary striker.
Last season, Nkunku led the way for Leipzig, lifting their first-ever trophy for them with an inspired performance in the DFB Pokal Final. He also bailed them out from finishing outside the top four after a rough start to the season under Jesse Marsh.
Nkunku scored 20 goals with 13 assists in the Bundesliga, as well as seven Champions League goals in just six appearances. Similarly, the 24-year-old had four goals in six games in the Europa League and four in six in the successful DFB Pokal campaign as well. On top of all that, he averaged nearly two key passes, two completed dribbles, and two fouls drawn per game in the Bundesliga.
As you can see, Nkunku is someone who can take even more of the scoring burden off Benzema and help both Karim and Vinicius Jr. score goals themselves. He is an all-around star who can play multiple positions, and as we saw this past season in Leipzig, he can play up top, too, meaning he can help give Benzema rest – not just help him when they are on the pitch together.
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So from that standpoint, Nkunku is the best possible signing for Benzema, personally. Signing Nkunku is another matter entirely and could be difficult, but if Leipzig work a release clause in the summer 2023, Real Madrid have a fighting chance at getting him at an affordable rate.