Is it time for Alvaro Morata to replace Karim Benzema?

He is a vital part of the Spanish Under 21 team and a squad player for Real Madrid but is it time to make him a vital part of Real Madrid’s team also?

Alvaro Morata turns 21 on October 23rd and is the kind of big and rangy striker than makes opposing defenders take notice. He chases down seemingly lost causes and defends from the front. He also does something that Karim Benzema has not been doing this year. He scores goals. On Thursday night, he took to the field with Spain’s Under 21 team and scored goals in the 50th and 69th minute in a 3-2 Spanish win.

This brings his record at U-21 level to 11 goals in 8 games. (The goalscoring record for Spain’s 21 national side stands at 15 which Morata is on pace to beat) That is an impressive record in any man’s language. He has said about the Spanish Under 21 setup, “The national team helps me to become even more confident and to compete at my club”, but my question is? Is it time for him to be thrown in at centre forward to a team which is lacking a spark.

Madrid were made to work hard in their 3-2 win at Ciutat de Valencia against Levante last weekend. Morata got himself a goal and worked his socks off in the limited action time he saw. (He came on for the last 31 minutes)

You see, the question here is not of quality as Benzema has shown his ability to finish and his selection in the French national side since 2007 as a 19 year old is evidence of this. His track record speaks for itself. The question is whether or not Benzema works hard enough to cause problems for defenders and thus creating space and room for the likes of Ronaldo, Bale, Di Maria or whoever is there to benefit from Morata’s ground work.

Against Levante, Morata had two ball recoveries which was two more than Benzema. He was also fouled more times (3), made more tackles (2, 1 successful) and won more aerial duels (2, 1 successful) than Benzema. and Morata only played for 31 minutes!

If this isn’t enough, against Atletico Madrid in the Madrid derby, the only real trouble that was caused by Real was when Morata came on and began to defend from the centre forward position. He fouled Juan Fran needlessly as he chased down a dead ball and also chased down Courtois when he was trying to waste time by not picking up the ball which almost resulted in a lucky goal.

Perhaps it is the exact thing Benzema needs and surely with enough clamour from the Madridistas and more displays like that againstAteltico and Levante, Benzema will be the one replacing Morata in the very near future.

Robbie Dunne

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