The past few years have seen the very best of Karim Benzema. To imagine a Real Madrid team without the Frenchman is close to impossible now, and his importance cannot be understated.
In the recently concluded season too, Benzema had a massive role to play in both the club’s La Liga and UCL exploits. However, given that he is now 34 years old, the club are looking for a backup player to help the manager provide him with rest.
According to reports from MARCA, Real Madrid Castilla player Juanmi Latasa is an option to fill that void in the team next season.
In 30 games for the Castilla team in the third division of Spanish football, Latasa scored 13 goals last season and averaged a goal every 184 minutes. Additionally, he has also scored two goals for the Spanish U-20 side so far.
The 21-year-old is far from the ideal replacement for Benzema in the long term. However, the team require only a temporary solution at the moment, and he could fill in those boots comfortably.
The Frenchman will continue to be a starter for Carlo Ancelotti next season, and Latasa’s role could be limited to playing a few minutes in the second half when the striker is taken off.
In 31 league starts for Los Blancos based side last season, Benzema scored 27 goals and provided 12 assists. In the Champions league, he recorded a stunning 15 goals and two assists in just 12 games.
After his magnificent season, he is the favourite to pick up not only FIFA The Best award but also the Ballon d’Or.
Official: Real Madrid squad list to face Atletico Madrid | La Liga
As Real Madrid gear up for their biggest test of the 2023/24 season so far against Atletico Madrid, manager Carlo Ancelotti has released the squad list for the game at the Civitas Metropolitano.
The biggest news is the inclusion of star forward Vinicius Jr in the squad, with the Brazilian seemingly making an ultra-swift recovery from his injury to make himself available for the Madrid derby.
Meanwhile, Jude Bellingham also makes the squad list after there were some concerns about his situation as he had a stomach issue on Friday.
Arda Guler has trained with the team but is still not ready for his debut while Dani Carvajal also misses out with injury. Thibaut Courtois and Eder Militao remain long-term absentees.
Ferland Mendy makes a return to the squad list for a La Liga match after having recovered fully from his injury.
Youngster Nico Paz is still missing due to a knock that led to his absence in the midweek Champions League clash against Union Berlin.