Many Tottenham fans still dream of Gareth Bale returning to North London.
Unfortunately, although his time at Real Madrid may be up, his huge wages would be a massive stumbling block. However, although signing Bale may, therefore, be unrealistic, Karim Benzema would not require the same outlay and would be just the world-class forward that Mauricio Pochettino and co need to provide an alternative to Harry Kane. Pochettino needs to start creating some rivalries in the squad where players are fighting for their shirts.
Real are looking to revamp their squad after a disappointing year both domestically and in Europe, with Serbian Luka Jovic the first marquee signing of the campaign. Last season, he scored 27 goals in 48 games for Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt, making him one of the most sought-after forwards on the continent. At just 21 years of age, he is the future of Madrid’s front line and is clearly ready to make the step up to an elite club like Los Merengues. As such, this may mark the beginning of the end for Benzema in the Spanish capital.
Not that the quality of the Frenchman’s performances shows any sign of dropping. Last season was his second most-fruitful in a Madrid shirt from a goalscoring point of view as he scored 30 goals in 53 games in all competitions. Even during his side’s worst spells, Benzema continued to regularly find the net and was the club’s best player throughout the campaign.
At 31 years of age, he still has at least two years of top quality football left him in, especially if he can keep up his current level. He has bags of experience and has won every trophy available in club football. At Spurs, there is not an abundance of winners, and their lack of a winning mentality has often been used against them despite a steady improvement in results. Benzema may just prove to be the man to take the Lilywhites to the next level.
Tottenham do of course already have a star striker in Harry Kane, but Mauricio Pochettino will be worried about the injuries the 25-year-old has picked up in the last couple of seasons. Since the summer of 2017, he has had no real break to talk off. As soon as the 2017-18 campaign was over, Kane was straight off to Russia for the World Cup and remained there until July as England made the semi-finals. Barely a month later, he was back at Tottenham for the start of the new season. It was no surprise to see so much high-level football take its toll as he missed the last two months of this past campaign, and even that spell on the sidelines was full of rehabilitation work to get him ready for the Champions League final.
Having Benzema to rely on would allow Pochettino to rotate and give the Three Lions captain and the former Lyon striker a share of the goalscoring responsibilities. Kane has dealt with the pressure of regularly finding the back of the net for both club and country for a while now. With the addition of Benzema, this would allow the Walthamstow-born striker to relax a little, which may make him even more potent in the future, and would likely keep him fitter right until the business end of the season.
Whether Benzema would be allowed to leave Madrid is another question. But, with the arrival of Jovic, it is more likely than ever. Rather than concentrate on Bale, Tottenham should go for Benzema to give their attack that extra option it needs.