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Real Madrid see Castilla striker as a backup option for Karim Benzema

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

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.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid convinced with 21-year-old loanee’s performances, will count on him next season

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Photo via Getty Images

Real Madrid are eager to enhance their options in central defense after deciding to not sign any defenders in the recent January transfer window.

Several players are on the club’s radar, with Lille’s promising center-back Leny Yoro most notably high on the club’s wishlist.

However, the Merengues are not turning a blind eye to their homegrown academy gems, as Rafa Marin is making a strong case for himself to join the first team dynamics next summer.

Rafa Marin strengthens his case

The 21-year-old is presently on loan at Alaves and is showcasing solid performances in the heart of defense, with Real Madrid reported to count on him next season.

Now, AS have reported that the reason for the club’s trust in Marin is his upsurge in performances at Alaves. And if Nacho Fernandez leaves, Marin will serve as the fourth central defender in the squad.

A testament to his worth to Alaves is the fact that Marin has not been benched since mid-November, demonstrating his importance in coach Luis Garcia Plaza’s defense.

With 2,282 total minutes played, he ranks as the fourth-highest on the team with the most minutes.

Against Atletico Madrid recently, Rafa Marin enjoyed a stellar outing. In addition to making 15 recoveries and 9 interceptions, he took part in 24 defensive actions. Along with winning two ground and four air duels, he only committed one foul.

A stellar performance vs Atletico. (Photo by CESAR MANSO/AFP via Getty Images)

An important summer for Marin

Not only is Rafa Marín returning to Real Madrid, but he is also going to represent Spain in the Olympics in Paris.

Marin was included in five of the six matches during the Euro Under-21 qualifiers because coach Santi Denia of Spain’s under-21 team greatly values his presence and height (1.91 meters).

Marin has a bright future ahead of him if all goes according to plan. His season with Alaves is sure to serve as a stepping stone for his integration into the Real Madrid first team.

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