Last season, Real Madrid won the Copa Del Rey for the first time in 18 years, featured a 53-goal scorer in Cristiano Ronaldo, and scored 102 goals overall. Yet with Barcelona besting Real Madrid both in La Liga and in the Champions League, many considered the season a disappointing one for Manager Jose Mourinho and the Bernabau side.
As Real Madrid pursues a Champions League-La Liga-Copa Del Rey Treble, Madrid will be using this summer transfer window to address issues that were exposed in its Clasico defeats to Barcelona.
Namely, Madrid will be looking to fix their deficiencies at striker, central midfield and amongst their fullbacks and craft a team more in image of Mourinho.
To accomplish all this, here are seven players that Real Madrid should buy this offseason.
Jose Mourinho is known to have coveted Inter Milan’s Maicon to join him at Real Madrid since leaving Inter.
Mourinho is correct that Real Madrid should upgrade from Marcelo at left back but the answer here is Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale.
Bale had a breakthrough 2010-11, with his top performance coming against Maicon and Inter in a Champion’s League match where Bale scored a hat trick and was hailed as unstoppable by Maicon himself.
With Barcelona’s ability to dominate possession in dominating its opponents, Madrid needs Bale’s counterattacking ability to create scoring opportunities from the few Barcelona lapses. Bale could sparkplug many goals for Real Madrid in 2011-12.
Real Madrid’s pursuit of Neymar is well known. Talk regarding Real’s purchase Neymar from Santos of Brazil have been circulating for the past season but have been clouded by rumours that the 19-year-old will stay at Santos for another season or that he prefers moving to Chelsea.
The bottom-line is this though: Real Madrid has a hole to fill at striker and Neymar is the most promising player at the position in the world.
If Madrid wants to out due Barcelona next season and in the future, buying the player most likely to become soccer’s next transcendent player and Brazil’s next superstar is a no-brainer. And Neymar competing for Brazil in Copa America this summer, now would be the time to make Neymar a Galatico.
At a time when the Spanish National team is unquestionably the best in the world, does anyone else find it odd that Real Madrid lacks an offensive player that sees regular time for La Roja?
Real Madrid could end its search for Mourinho’s “True Number 9” by buying one of Spain’s own strikers in Atletico Bilbao’s Fernando Llorente.
Llorente is entering his prime as a striker as he comes off of a season where he scored 18 goals for Bilbao in La Liga. Further, the 6'5" (195 cm) Llorente would give Mourinho and Madrid a tall finisher around goal, allowing Cristiano Ronaldo to play mostly at his natural right wing position.
The passes that Ronaldo and left wing Angel Di Maria can target to Llorente in front of goal could lead to some beautiful goals and beautiful Madrid victories.
Simply put, Yaya Toure is the answer to all of Real Madrid’s problems in central midfield. Experts and fans focus on strikers and creative wing players but games are won on the back of box-to-box midfielders like Manchester City’s Toure.
Yaya Toure can play the tough brand of football useful in grounding the beautiful attack of Barcelona. Unlike other midfield brutes however, Toure can create and score goals, as exhibited by the six goals he scored in Premiership play last year for Man City. He also scored the only goal in Man City’s FA Cup Final win over Stoke City.
Lastly, the Cote D’Iviore international understands success in La Liga and the magnitude as he played for Barcelona from 2007-2010.
Option one for Real Madrid at left back should remain Gareth Bale, but option 1A is Maicon. Though his best days are behind him, Maicon is still arguably the best left back in the world and his history with Jose Mourinho at Inter Milan.
Also, since we are talking about the Galaticos, lets not rule out a double acquisition of Maicon AND Bale, creating a dream left side and giving Real Madrid.
There is nothing wrong with having depth as Real Madrid looks to compete in over 50 games across all competitions next season.
Perhaps the most hated player in the sport today, Manchester City’s Nigel De Jong would equally provide Real Madrid some much needed toughness and grit in central midfield.
There are many issues that would preclude such a move, especially the hard foul committed buy De Jong on current Real Midfielder and Spanish International Xabi Alonso in the 2010 World Cup Final.
But in future conflicts with Barcelona, Mourinho may adopt the “if you can’t beat them, beat them” strategy. Few are better at the dark arts of soccer as De Jong is.
Lille’s Eden Hazard is a purchase that Real Madrid should make for the long-term competitiveness of the club.
Currently, Real Madrid is failing to produce and acquire young talent needed to sustain success for years to come. Hazard is 19 yet has already shown great talent and potential during Lille’s run to the French Ligue 1 title.