Real Madrid have had quite an eventful pre-season ahead of the 2019-20 season, with controversy regarding Gareth Bale’s future, bad results, as well as questions about the squad quality and depth. Zinedine Zidane’s men kick off their season on 17th August, away from home at Celta Vigo, and the Spanish giants will hope to get off to a flyer in La Liga.
Madrid have spent in excess of €300 million in the summer transfer window, which includes the big-money signing of Eden Hazard from Chelsea.
Let’s take a look at 3 Real Madrid players who will be key in the 2019-20 season
Last season, Karim Benzema stepped out of the shadows of Cristiano Ronaldo, after the Portuguese ace’s departure from Madrid, scoring 30 goals and assisting 11 times. This year, as well, the Frenchman will be the one Zidane puts his trust in to bring the goals for Madrid, despite the arrival of Luka Jović from Eintracht Frankfurt.
Benzema has been unfairly criticised by certain sections of the media as well as fans, but he is an invaluable asset for Madrid, who has delivered time after time over the last decade. The striker has been in good form in pre-season and will hope to carry that form when the season kicks off.
Eden Hazard is Real Madrid’s most expensive signing in their history, and the onus will be on the Belgian to produce the goods right from the start. But his dream move to Real Madrid hasn’t started off well as he is reportedly overweight and will need to get in shape before the start of the season.
The Belgian was bought for €100 million by Madrid after seven fantastic seasons with Chelsea, winning two league titles, one Europa League title, and scoring over 100 goals. Hazard will have to be the chief creator in the Madrid attack, scoring and assisting consistently, while also becoming the talisman of the team in attack – a role that has been vacant since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Club captain Sergio Ramos is 33 years of age and is on the wane, which means that someone else has to step up in defence. French central defender Raphael Varane will have to be the defender who takes charge at the back, which he is more than capable of doing. The 26-year-old World Cup-winning centre-back will have to plug the leaks in the Spanish team’s defence which has looked vulnerable over the last 2-3 seasons.
Varane is at an age where he should hit his prime and this year could be crucial not just for Real Madrid as a team but Varane as a player as well.