Analysis: Do Cody Gakpo-Real Madrid links make sense for Los Blancos?

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Analysis: Do Cody Gakpo-Real Madrid links make sense for Los Blancos?

Star striker Karim Benzema has been a blessing for Los Blancos, extending his career and performances well beyond what anyone could have expected. Picking up a Ballon D’Or at the age of 35, his past 12 months of performance have been amongst the finest Spanish football has seen.

It does leave them in something of a halfway house in terms of their future planning. At his age, there is always the chance of a drop off or fitness issues getting in the way of regular performance, as has happened so far this season. Luka Jovic was initially that forward, but that experiment failed and was discarded when Benzema continued to shine into his mid-thirties.

So far, Los Blancos have coped well in his absence this season, but they will be conscious they need a long-term solution. Down the line, that is likely Endrick Felipe, the talented 16-year-old from Palmeiras. He would not be able to arrive until 2024 though, and to make him the main goalscorer at 18 would be a huge pressure on his shoulders.

Reports have emerged in the Netherlands that Real Madrid may be looking at PSV Eindhoven star Cody Gakpo as a potential reinforcement up front, as per Diario AS. The 23-year-old has been heavily linked with Manchester United since starring in the World Cup for the Netherlands, where he scored in each of their group games. Do these links make sense though?

Gakpo is young and developing forward, which fits the profile of what Los Blancos have been pursuing with their investments of late. Any of their transfers they have spent money on recently has been on younger talents not yet at their peak, while experienced signings have arrived on a free.

The PSV forward is also versatile. Capable of playing wider in a front three, as the central striker or with another forward, he could conceivably occupy any of the roles Carlo Ancelotti marked out for him. Gakpo is also likely to accept a secondary role initially too, which would ease the question of easing Benzema out when the time comes. It probably does not hurt that PSV manager Ruud van Nistlerooij can explain to him the delights of the Santiago Bernabeu, having played there himself.

Alternatively, versatility, content playing a secondary role while developing and promising are all qualities that Rodrygo Goes can claim to have. Ancelotti has previously remarked that he sees the Brazilian moving into the centre eventually.

Gakpo does perhaps have more of a physical presence than Rodrygo, and is more used to moving around the central areas. In the Brazilian’s favour is his skill in tight spaces, where Rodrygo’s soft touch can be differential.

Above all else though, there is likely to be one major impediment – the price tag. Figures quoted in the Dutch media exceed €70m, which would make him one of Real Madrid’s star signings. With midfield thought to be the pressing issue for Florentino Perez, the chances of him sanctioning two major transfers in the same summer, which hasn’t happened since 2019, seem slim. Especially when considering that Gakpo would not be walking into a starting role.

Source by Football Espana

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