After a string of campaigns that saw him severely underperform his expected goal (xG) totals and decline in his all-round game, Karim Benzema experienced a renaissance in 2019. At first, the return of his goal scoring could be put down to superb — and, perhaps, unsustainable — finishing. But, this season, he has upped his non-penalty xG by ~20% and has continued to shoulder an offense that is more reliant on him than ever.
Beyond the end-product (a cool 36 goals and 12 assists in 49(1) appearances according to transfermarkt), it was a refreshing sight to see Benzema, once again, gliding past players on the regular, linking up crisply with his teammates, and manufacturing passing lanes out of thin air.
At age 32, we are likely witnessing the final stages of Karim’s prime and Zidane, like all of us, will be hoping that it extends into 2020 as the business end of the season begins to loom over Real Madrid.
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