Lewandowski? The best striker for Madrid is Benzema

COMMENT: The agent of the Bayern Munich attacker was at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday, just as the French forward showed why he remains the ideal man for this team

Carlo Ancelotti said it often. When the Italian coach was asked during his time at Real Madrid about the possibility of signing Sergio Aguero, Radamel Falcao or Robert Lewandowski, his reply never varied. “The best striker for this team is Karim Benzema.”

Lewandowski’s representative was spotted in the executive box at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday and the presence of Cezary Kucharski close to Florentino Perez at the game against Getafe has caused something of a stir in Spain.

Perez, under pressure since the damaging defeat against Barcelona in the Clasico late in November and also after the club’s controversial Copa del Rey exit for fielding the ineligible Denis Cheryshev versus Cadiz last week, is looking to release some tension. And signing Europe’s most in-form forward would be a happy distraction right now.

Lewandowski’s quality is not in question. The Polish striker has scored 20 goals in his 22 games for Bayern Munich in 2015-16 and is being tracked by most of Europe’s elite. The former Borussia Dortmund attacker is only 27 and under contract until 2019, with Bayern hoping he will sign a new deal in the coming months. The final decision, however, will rest with the player himself.

In times of crisis, Perez usually reaches for his chequebook. And against Getafe, the president will have heard more chants of “Florentino, resign!” from a sector of supporters at the Bernabeu – even though Madrid were 4-0 up at the time.

FULL STORY | BBC all on target as Madrid thrash Getafe

That match also saw a return to form for Benzema, hampered by the effects of a thigh injury in recent weeks and also affected by his alleged involvement in a blackmail case over a sex tape featuring France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena. Back to full fitness on Saturday, the 27-year-old scored twice against Getafe and his impressive performance also helped his two attacking colleagues, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.

The ‘BBC’ shone in this one and all three were on target in the same game for the first time since April.

“Benzema is ideal for Ronaldo and for Bale,” Ancelotti said in October. “For me, Karim is the best player in the world in his position. He is not just a goalscorer, so you can’t ask him to score 30 goals. It’s a false debate. He has great qualities. He is a complete player.”

And Cristiano said that same month: “Karim is the best striker in La Liga. He is doing a phenomenal job.”

Lewandowski is also doing a phenomenal job at Bayern. However, the Polish striker is more of a penalty box player than Benzema and it remains to be seen whether he could adapt to more of an unselfish role like the one played so adeptly by the France forward for Madrid.

“Benzema links up well,” his current coach Rafa Benitez said on Monday when asked about the importance of the former Lyon man. “He has a lot of quality and his playing style allows the others to take advantage of the spaces.”

Totally true. And just as Ancelotti says, “there is no debate”. So should Madrid move for Lewandowski in the summer? Not when Benzema remains the ideal centre-forward for this team. With Florentino, however, anything is possible. 

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