Saturday’s night victory over Atletico Madrid meant that they, finally had the one thing that had eluded them in the last decade, a Champions League crown. It was made possible by impressive Angel Di Maria, but the men who put Real in the lead and scored the final goal, were two halves of Real’s terrific triumvirate. Although Benzema had an off day, it was Gareth Bale, who scored the goal that gave Real the lead and it was who else, but Cristiano Ronaldo who put the icing on the cake with a fourth late in the game.
Throughout the season it was their attacking trio that got them out of jail, time and again. If Ronaldo didn’t get you, Bale would, if the Welshman didn’t, then the Frenchman would. There was rarely a game in which all three players failed at once. Their pace on the counter meant that no opposing defender had a moment’s breath whilst playing against Los Blancos.
If Benzema wore the defense down, Ronaldo picked up the pieces and scored and vice versa. At one point, Real’s attacking trio of Benzema, Bale and Ronaldo had become so fearsome that they even had their own acronym. They were Real Madrid’s BBC. Between them the trio had managed a staggering 97 goals this season in the League, Champions League and the Copa del Rey. Although it was Ronaldo, who scored most of the goals, the other two chipped in with their share of goals as well.
Between them, the trio were so good that nobody else even got a chance. As a result, club’s homegrown attacking talent, which was waiting in the wings, has been rarely on the pitch. At the start of the campaign, Jese Rodriguez and Alvaro Morata were highly tipped to be on the fringes of the first team by the end of the campaign. An injury to Jese, just when he was hitting peak form, coupled with Benzema having his most productive season meant neither Jese nor Morata had much of a chance to prove themselves this past campaign.
So, it is no surprise to see that the 21-year-old Spanish forward Morata is keen on a move away from Madrid. Having started just three League games and appeared in a further 20 as a substitute, the Spaniard has grown weary of his non-role in the team. While he did score eight goals in the process, most of those were late on in games, after the game was already won.
Although he didn’t get too many chances, when the opportunity arose, Morata didn’t take it and that is why, just like Gonzalo Higuain, the 21-year-old is also keen on a move away to enhance his playing career. Arsenal along with Juventus, are keen on his signature with some reports claiming that the Gunners have already sent representatives to Madrid to secure the Spanish striker’s signature.
Now, while Morata isn’t a particularly big loss for Madrid, the simple fact is that, they will have to replace him somehow. Whilst it true that BBC accounted for nearly a 100 goals this season, who’s to say that they will repeat that again next year? Even if the trio play really well, should Benzema get injured, either in the World Cup or during sometime next season, the club will be left without a recognized striker.
While Ronaldo can certainly fill in if the need arises, the Portuguese forward wouldn’t be too keen on moving away from the left flank, which has been so fruitful for him, since his move to the club. Having scored at least 50 goals in each of the last four seasons cutting in from the left flank, one would be tempted to move him away from such a productive position.
As a result, Los Blancos would be forced to move for a striker to replace Morata, if the rumors of his departure are indeed true. And that is where the problem arises. Whilst it is true that Morata isn’t crucial to the club’s plans for the future, there aren’t too many around, who can fill in, in his place. I am not saying that he is irreplaceable, but it will be hard to find a top quality striker who will be warming the bench for most of the season.
Any striker that the club target would want to be an integral part of the team, and not just start once in a blue moon. So, the question is, who do you replace him with? Chicharito is someone who has been linked with the club for some time now, but would the Mexican striker be really interested in swapping the Manchester for Madrid, if he is going to stay on the bench here as well? Should Morata leave, Real will be forced to look for a suitable replacement, who they choose, only time will tell. Whatever the choice, the fact is, it isn’t going to be easy.