If some fans expected Borja Mayoral to be Karim Benzema’s true backup this season they must be disappointed. While Mayoral has played some minutes, it’s clear that right now Zidane believes Benzema doesn’t have a replacement on this squad. The French attacker can’t find the back of the net and yet Mayoral stays on the bench and out of the squad list more often than not.
That’s a significant problem for Real Madrid. Last season, Alvaro Morata provided goals when needed and it’s fairly clear that Mayoral isn’t ready to play that role just yet. While Los Blancos must be patient with him —he’s still 20 years old—, the current squad needs more firepower upfront. Could Madrid try to find a decent backup striker in the winter market ala Adebayor in 2010?
Cristiano Ronaldo is also struggling and some analysts believe that he should start playing in a more centered role so that he can stay relevant as he gets older. However, he plays better when Benzema is on the pitch, so this is a tough decision for coach Zinedine Zidane.
One thing is for certain, though. Don’t blame Mayoral as it would not be fair to expect him to score relevant goals this season, but he isn’t ready to play and contribute.