During Real Madrid’s game on Jan. 16 against Almeria, one crucial point was highlighted: Real Madrid sorely lacks a confident striker. As obvious as this reality now is, it is not obvious what the best next step is for the club.
This, however, was not always the case. When the season began, the forward and striker positions were not a source of major concern. The way Jose Mourinho likes to play, he only uses one striker; this is a 4-5-1 (or 4-2-3-1) formation. Gonzalo Higuian was the sole proven striker up top and a favorite of Jose Mourinho. Just in case, Karim Benzema was ready on the bench and could be used when necessary.
Everything went terribly wrong, however, in early December when Higuian injured his back requiring surgery, and he is now out for the rest of the season. Benzema has stepped into Higuians role but has failed to provide for Mourinho, scoring only one goal in La Liga.
Mourinho’s frustrations came to a boil on Sunday’s game against Almeria when he decided to play Cristiano Ronaldo, who is a preferred winger, as the sole striker instead of Benzema. Benzema, although he is a great striker when confident, has lost all of his confidence as of recent and I don’t think he will get that back as long as Mourinho publicly doubts him. The formation in Sunday’s game could have been considered a 4-6 formation. Ronaldo was hesitant and not accustomed to hovering in the box. He consistently dropped back to a midfield position. Simply put, Ronaldo is not the answer to Real Madrid’s striker dilemma.
Real Madrid management finally agree that something should be done about the striker position if they want to have any chance of catching up to League leaders Barcelona. There is a search for a new signing, but who should it be? Here are my top five signings for the January transfer window: