Having sacked Julen Lopetegui after their humiliating 5-1 defeat away to Barcelona in the Clasico, ex-player Santiago Solari has been given the Real Madrid managerial position on a, for now, part-time basis. The club have two weeks to decide if they want to give the Spaniard the role permanently, with Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte and Roberto Martinez rumoured to be options if they choose not to do so. But it’s not just a change of management that’s needed for the European champions, but a change in personnel too. Here are 3 players that I think Real should buy either in January or next summer to help them try and get back to winning ways.
1. Mauro Icardi – Despite this being his 10th season at Real Madrid, Karim Benzema has scored 25 or more goals in a season on just three occasions. ‘Los Blancos’ lost superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus in the summer, a player that scored 450 goals in just 9 seasons in Madrid so it is clear to see that Benzema can’t produce the sort of numbers that the Portugal captain did. Additionally, the Frenchman turns 31 next month so Real should target a younger, more prolific striker like Mauro Icardi to try and replace CR7’s goals. The Argentine has finished joint top-scorer in Serie A twice in five seasons, most recently, last campaign, when he hit 29 goals for Inter Milan. Like Ronaldo, the 25-year-old scores most of his goals inside the penalty area, making Icardi arguably the best out and out poacher in Europe right now.
2. Grimaldo – Although Marcelo has been an integral part of ‘Los Merengues’ success over the last decade and has popped up with his fair share of goals and assists over the years, left-back Marcelo’s defensive capabilities have always been questioned and this season has been no different. The Brazilian is in his 30’s now and doesn’t really have any competition in his position, which is perhaps why his level has dropped off a bit recently. I think Grimaldo would be a perfect signing as he would not only be a great back-up left-back right now, but when Marcelo leaves or retires, the Spaniard is good enough to replace him. He has previous experience in La Liga and the Champions League and is already a key member of Benfica’s team despite only just turning 23.
3. Kalidou Koulibaly – Sergio Ramos is club captain and is still one of the best defenders in the world. However, he has frequently been criticised throughout his career due to his ill-discipline and is now into his early 30’s. Whoever the new manager of Real Madrid is, they may look to freshen up Real’s defence given that they have little depth in the centre-back area. Kalidou Koulibaly could prove to be the man for the job as he has consistently been one of the best central defenders in Italy over the last few years. He has made Carlo Ancelotti’s side more solid at the back this season and at 27-years-old, the Senegalese international is just coming into his prime.
What do you make of these thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!