Ahead of the 2009 season, Ronaldo joined Real Madrid from Manchester United for a world record transfer fee at the time, €94 million. Between 2009-2018 he went on to score 450 goals in 438 games for Real Madrid. He won every trophy available to him during his time in Spain & cemented himself in Madrid history as a Los Blancos legend. Then he stunned the football world at the end of the 2018 season when he left Madrid for around €100 million to join Juventus.
It’s been a full season for Real Madrid since the departure of their star man and its safe to say they have struggled without him. The 18/19 season Real finished 3rd in La Liga 19 points behind eventual winners Barcelona, they got knocked out of the Champions League in the round of 16 by an upset 5-3 loss on aggregate to Ajax and then crashed out of the Copa del Rey in the semis to Barcelona.
The club needed to fill the huge gap left by Ronaldo & shake the squad up, so this summer is going to be key for the club & its safe to say they are heading in the right direction. When the transfer window opened this summer Real went straight into business mode & have already made 5 key signings in a hope of returning glory to The Santiago Bernabéu.
They have brought back former coach Zinedine Zidane & signed 2 defensive players in the form of Ferland Mendy (from Lyon) & Éder Militão (from FC Porto) for around €50 million each. Then they attacked their main concern which was the attacking front of their game. With an ageing Benzema & an injury prone Bale then needed to reinforce their attack and try to fill some of the goals that Ronaldo has taken with him to Italy. They have so far brought in 2 wingers & 1 striker.
15th June 2018, Real Madrid reached an agreement with Santos for the transfer of Rodrygo, with the player joining in June 2019 and signing until 2025. The fee was for around €45 million.
The young Brazilian is a left sided winger and impressed scouts all over as he popped up with 17 goals in 80 games for Santos. At the young age of 18 he is raw but there is potential to be a top winger and he can only grow in Madrid’s system. Rodrygo is your old school style winger, he hugs the touchline until he gains possession and even then he stays tight to the white line but isn’t afraid to cut inside to strike it from range or whip a cross in, He is comfortable on the left side of the field and isn’t afraid to take defenders on.
With goals drying up for Madrid with Ronaldo leaving, Benzema struggling & Bale being injured, Real needed a goal threat again. They went out and paid around €60 million for the 21-year-old Serbian hitman Luka Jović.
In June 2017 Jović left Benfica to join Eintracht Frankfurt on a 2-year loan deal, where he scored 36 goals in 75 games putting Europe’s top clubs on notice. He is the perfect replacement for Benzema as he is powerful & quick in front of goal and has the killer instinct to finish attacking opportunities. He uses his pace & strength to pull off quick counter attacks & can pick out key passes to teammates.
After what felt like years of speculation Real Madrid finally sealed their ideal winger in Eden Hazard for around €100 million from Chelsea. Madrid have been vying for a star winger since Ronaldo left & Hazard has been their number 1 target from day one.
He scored 110 goals in 352 games for Chelsea over a span of 7 seasons & has easily been Chelsea’s best player for years. The left sided winger has lifted trophies & is experienced enough to kick-start the revival of Real Madrid. He can do it all, run at defenders & take them on with his pace & ball control, he can give you assists through his key eye for playing the right pass or whipping in the right cross & he can score you a lot of goals whether its from open play or set pieces. Hazard is the complete package for what you want in a winger.
Now Real Madrid may not be done yet this summer as they have also been linked with many attack minded midfielders especially Christian Eriksen from Tottenham Hotspur & Paul Pogba from Manchester United. Which will provide them with a much needed attacking threat.
Time will tell in the upcoming season if Real Madrid has taken steps in the right direction to bringing glory back to the club & if they have begun to get over the loss of Ronaldo and all he brought to the club or whether they need to go back to the drawing board & dig out a plan B. One thing is for sure, this season will be crucial for Los Blancos & failure is not an option.