Zinedine Zidane will be looking for Real Madrid’s major squad overhaul in the summer and without a doubt, it has to start with finding a Cristiano Ronaldo replacement.
We’ve all used and heard this term a lot of times now – Cristiano Ronaldo replacement. But the truth is, there is no such thing as Ronaldo’s replacement. And Zidane knows that very well. But the Frenchman still needs a player who can run past defenders on the wings and score goals and do it with at least a 60-70% efficiency of that of Ronaldo.
It’s not easy but there are a number of World Class footballers who will say yes to Real Madrid in the blink of an eye. But with the crazy transfer market, sky-rocketing fees and not to forget, the resistance from other clubs, signing a Galactico is not as easy as it was before for Madrid and Perez.
If the reports are to be believed, the Los Blancos President has given Zidane to spend up to €300m in the summer. So, which player can the Frenchman sign to replace Cristiano Ronaldo?
(PS: We know Neymar and Mbappe are the ones who are always in discussion to replace Ronaldo, but given how tricky it is to sign the PSG duo and the fact that Madrid will have to spend almost all the money on just one of them, we have decided to keep them out of this list)
3. Raheem Sterling:
After Zidane’s return, rumours about his interest in Manchester city winger Raheem Sterling started doing rounds on various platforms. And it sure surprised a few people. But the Frenchman has been an admirer of the 24-year old for a long time now and even admitted back in 2015 that he has been keeping an eye on the youngster.
But a lot has changed since 2015. For starters, Sterling has moved from Liverpool to Manchester City. The constantly criticized winger has managed to shut everyone’s mouth with mature performances, goals, assists and trophies. Sterling has been especially the backbone of City’s quadruple-chasing team this season, with 18 goals and 11 assists in the Premier League and UCL.
Sterling’s pace and trickery on the wings have always been a crucial part of his game. But under Pep Guardiola, the Englishman has learned to make correct decisions when it comes to passing. Sterling has also been brilliant inside the box this season as he has been at the right place at the right time for simple tap-ins.
Of course, he has scored some brilliant goals from long range as well, but Sterling’s finishing is nowhere near Ronaldo right now. But if you look at his development graph of past few seasons, it shouldn’t take him long before he masters that skill as well. So despite not being a perfect Ronaldo replacement, Sterling can run havoc at Real Madrid.
But there’s a catch, of course, there is. Sterling signed a contract extension with City in November, keeping him at the club until 2023. And it no secret that he is Pep’s favorite player, after maybe Bernardo Silva. So stealing Sterling from City will be one hell of a task for Real Madrid, because money is not something which the Citizens really care about. They want the Champions League and they cannot afford to let someone like Sterling leave before that.