Should Real Madrid have spent money in January?
With Real Madrid well off the pace in La Liga title race at the time of writing, the easy answer to the question posed is ‘yes’. But the reality is that the club cannot afford to throw money around anymore, and want to bide their time and reinforce in such dramatic ways which all but assure them of winning the title next season.
And that is what I will focus on in this article.
Naturally, had they spent serious money this winter then the gap between them and Barcelona could be much less.
If you spend time in the Spanish capital and speak to match goers or avid fans of the club, they will inform you the club pins its hopes this summer on signing one of the brightest stars of the Qatar World Cup which was England’s Jude Bellingham.
And there is a belief that they want to hold back funds to make sure they above all other keen English based buyers get the dynamic Dortmund midfielder.
If Real Madrid could have signed a player of his calibre or perhaps a leading attacking left back like Alfonso Davies, then spending money right now and on the right player, would have made sense.
The truth is, however, the club don’t have the funds to spend significant money and they preferred this winter to hold fire until the summer, where they pin their hopes on signing one or perhaps both of Jude Bellingham and perhaps Kylian Mpabbe that take the club to another level.
Real Madrid is a club that when they do make signings, wants the world to stop and listen. In short, they pride themselves on headline signings which lift the expectation and mood of their fans.
But with the financial state of the world and football in Spain right now, it was never going to be a winter window where any household names came into the club.
If we analyse Real Madrid’s best team with every player fit, match sharp and available, then the only men who would not walk into most top European clubs would be their full backs, arguably the least important position of any squad when the team uses a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3.
This is not to say the likes of Carvajal, Mendy, and Alaba are not good players, but they are not like in other areas, rated as world-class where most other top teams would want them in their side.
In my view, Real Madrid needed to consider spending serious money on a proven centre forward that can play back up for half a season but start the following one.
The club needs a centre forward who can be there to both push Benzema, and more importantly be available to step in when he gets injuries which at 35, will inevitably happen.
They are in the chase for all of the League title, the UEFA Champions League and the Copa del Rey.
Real Madrid has lost three games in La Liga 2022/23 and two of those were due to Benzema being out. They lost in highly winnable venues like Mallorca (1-0) and Rayo Vallecano (3-2).
Had they had a striker at or closer to his level to come in for those matches, they would likely be much closer if not level with Barcelona, currently 6 points ahead of Madrid at the time of writing.