Real Madrid: 5 Spanish Playmakers Who'd Be Great Alongside Cristiano Ronaldo
Can Cristiano Ronaldo get any better?
Already more than ably assisted by a stellar cast of Mesut Ozil, Angel Di Maria, Xabi Alonso and others, you would think not.
But in football, there's always room for improvement.
So if Real Madrid want to add to their midfield armory this summer, which Spanish players may be able to come in and strike up a partnership with Ronaldo?
1. David Silva
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The former Valencia player, on his day, is arguably the most talented attacking midfielder in the English Premier League.
Although this season, his brilliance has been slightly overshadowed by Juan Mata's consistency and the arrival of Santi Cazorla at Arsenal.
A European and World Champion with Spain, David Silva is highly appreciated among Real Madrid fans—demonstrated by the standing ovation he received when Los Blancos met Manchester City in the Champions League.
Previously linked with a move to the Bernabeu (via The Mirror), his potential to link-up with Cristiano Ronaldo would not only excite the supporters, but it would also frighten European defenses.
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Of the five players to feature on this list, Malaga's Isco is possibly the most attainable this summer.
Don't be fooled by the recent signing of a new contract, that will merely act as a piece of paperwork to allow the Andalusian club more money when, not if, they cash in on him.
Although he often plays on the left at the moment—the same as Cristiano Ronaldo—there is no doubt that he can be deployed anywhere across the attacking midfield triumvirate.
Whether that is centrally, with Mesut Ozil moved right; or on the right, with Angel Di Maria moved on; or even on the left, with Cristiano Ronaldo as a No.9, Isco would sizzle at the Bernabeu.
3. Ander Herrera
Not as attacking as David Silva or Isco, Ander Herrera could feasibly strike up a great partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo from a deeper position.
Part of the Athletic Bilbao side that won so much acclaim during last season, the 23-year-old continues to impress, even if his side are struggling.
Good on the ball, his short, accurate passing can be mixed up by an impressive array of longer balls and through balls that could provide goals for Ronaldo.
On the flip side, he is still maturing, and at times his discipline has lacked—he's picked up two red cards this season already.
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Another player more likely to act from a deeper position, as he does so brilliantly for Real Betis, is Basque midfielder Benat.
Now 26, he is probably the most unlikely on this list to find his way to one of Spain's top two clubs, although his stats and performances should dictate otherwise.
His four goals and seven assists are a big factor in why Pepe Mel's Betis sit just out side the European places in La Liga.
And with a contract winding down next summer, Benat would prove a not-so-expensive gamble for any side looking for creativity from a deeper midfield position.
5. Juan Mata
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Allowed to leave Real Madrid for Valencia in 2007, Juan Mata has ever since demonstrated why Los Blancos made a big mistake.
Now 24, this season has arguably been his best to date; 13 goals and 12 assists act as more than testament to that.
With so much to his game—keeping the ball, technique, intricate passes, goals, assists—it is impossible to see him not striking up a relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo.
Roman Abramovich's billions dictate that Chelsea won't be keen to see him leave, though, and it is unlikely he'll be flying back to Spain this summer.