Friday, December 6, 2019

Real Madrid Sign Luka Jovic: Smart Signing Or Panic Move?

Juan Pablo Aravena in Editorial, La Liga 4 Jun 2019

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Real Madrid have grabbed headlines all over the world on Tuesday morning. But this time, they’ve done it for the right reasons since Los Merengues have officially snapped one of the top strikers in Europe during the 2018/19 season.

Real Madrid have signed Luka Jovic to a six-year contract, which means the Serbian striker will be tied to Los Blancos until the end of the 2024-25 season. Jovic had an impressive with the German outfit while on loan with Benfica, since he finished with 17 goals and six assists in 32 Bundesliga appearances. The club confirmed the news on their official website.

However, was this the right move for Real Madrid? Or were they just so desperate to sign someone given their poor season last term? Let’s try to rationalize the move and decide whether Los Merengues have done the right thing or not.

Jovic might be exactly what Real Madrid needed…

By their standards, Real Madrid had a season to forget during the 2018/19 campaign. They were eliminated by Ajax during the UEFA Champions League’s Round of 16, were out of the Liga title race midway through the season, and Barcelona eliminated them from the Copa del Rey in the semifinal stage. Plus, they had three managers across the campaign: Julen Lopetegui, Santiago Solari and Zinedine Zidane.

The French tactician made it clear he wanted to strengthen the attacking end this summer. And Florentino Perez has delivered, signing one of the most prolific strikers in Europe this past season. The 21-year-old Jovic is a diamond in the rough, and Madrid should offer him the best scenario to continue improving.

Plus, the fanbase wanted a star signing. Jovic fits the mold as a young, up-and-coming player who has already performed at the highest level. At least on paper, he looks like a stud signing for Los Blancos. Especially since teams such as FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich were also keen on the Serbian star.

…. or maybe not?

Let’s be clear with one thing: teams such as Real Madrid always need to have a dominant scoring force to be successful. La Casa Blanca had Cristiano Ronaldo fulfilling that role during most of the past decade and while the Portuguese star departed from the club last year, they still had a prolific player upfront: Karim Benzema.

The former Lyon star has always been criticized due to his lackluster play at times, but no one can say anything regarding their performance during the 2018/19 season since he finished with

Granted, Jovic (21) is noticeably younger than Benzema (31). But if we look at the numbers, we can see Benzema’s was far from unproductive this past term. The former France international registered 21 goals and seven assists in 36 Liga appearances. Those numbers that increased to 30 goals and 11 assists in 53 appearances across all competitions.

In comparison, Jovic finished with 27 goals and seven assists in 48 matches in all competitions. The margin is slim, but the numbers do not lie. Benzema had a good-enough season in Real Madrid to potentially deserve another shot as the starting striker but surrounded but a better supporting cast.

Final verdict

Spending €60 million in a new signing shouldn’t be something surprising for a big team. Especially if we consider Madrid’s financial power and the way the market has behaved in past seasons. And while Jovic will probably have his best years wearing a Madrid shirt, Los Blancos could’ve been a bit smarter here. They could’ve spent that sum to fill another need, such as a creative midfielder, another playmaker, a proven winger or a centre-back.

Given Benzema’s numbers, Madrid shouldn’t have rushed so much to sign a striker. And while they could’ve easily miss out on Jovic had they taken a more patient approach, only time will tell whether they made the right move or not.

At least on paper, Jovic looks like a solid addition. But the rest of the summer moves will determine how much Jovic will fit in Real Madrid on both the short-term and long-term picture.


Juan Pablo Aravena

A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.



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