It is no secret that Real Madrid are looking for a striker this summer, in theory in order to back up Karim Benzema next season, although there is some doubt about that.
Last week manager Carlo Ancelotti admitted that he was a fan of Espanyol striker Joselu Mato, who until now has been linked most strongly as a low-cost alternative for the role.
Excl: Roberto Firmino, one of the names considered by Real Madrid — there are no negotiations as of now, just internal discussions about Bobby. 🚨⚪️🇧🇷 #RealMadrid
He’s one of 4/5 options as new striker; different kind of players in the list.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 28, 2023
Now Diario AS say that Los Blancos are looking into the possibility of bringing in Roberto Firmino this summer, with Fabrizio Romano and Matteo Moretto both confirming he had been offered to Los Blancos. After emotional goodbyes with his Liverpool teammates, the Brazilian international will be available on a free transfer this summer.
How exactly would Roberto Firmino fit in at Real Madrid though? The back-up striker role at the club has been something of a cursed position at the Santiago Bernabeu, casting back to Javier Hernandez right through to Mariano Diaz and Luka Jovic.
- He’s similar to Karim Benzema. In the sense that Firmino has an understanding of space and where and when to move. A major part of Benzema’s role and what knits the team together is his ability to drop deep and link the midfield and the attack. Firmino is one of the few you would back to be able to do so.
- Quality – Firmino has been at a Champions League level for some time, and while they would rather have Benzema, they would be comfortable playing him against any opposition.
- Fit – Firmino has played with both Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Junior on international duty, which should facilitate any adaptation period. He would join a significant group of Brazilians at the club.
- Versatile – such is his quality as a footballer, Carlo Ancelotti can probably move him around the front line a little and expect less drop off from it.
- Salary – as a free agent, and a player who has been at Liverpool for some time, he will likely not be too cheap
- He’s similar to Benzema – while this is an advantage when you want to directly replace him in some games, for the times that Real Madrid want to break down a defence and throw both in, they may prefer a forward that has a different profile to Benzema
- Motivation – in theory Firmino wants more game time than he has had of late, and a bigger role. If he accepts playing a smaller role again, maybe there is a chance that he does not push his teammates as much as Los Blancos might like.
- Age – Real Madrid are unlikely to get much resale value fro Firmino
- Finishing – Firmino gets goals, and while he has not been a starter for large chunks of that time, his finishing is not quite as clinical as Los Blancos might want. Only once has he surpassed 12 league goals, and has done so just once in his Liverpool career. That is in sharp contrast to the likes of Joselu.