Real Madrid was hit with a big blow on Wednesday when they announced on their official website that star striker Gonzalo Higuaín faces up to 2 months on the sideline with a lumbar herniated disc that will require the Argentine to undergo surgery. This comes as a huge bombshell for the whites and has significantly depleted their already limited choices of strikers. However, this could turn out to be a blessing in disguise for one Karim Benzema.
Karim Benzema as many of his fans may know is a top quality player who has been less than impressive since joining Real Madrid in the summer of 2009. If you have never seen this kid play then just looking at his statistics prior to joining los blancos will give you an idea of what he is capable of but yet to replicate.
I have always been a fan of Benzema since his humble beginnings at Lyon and he reminds me of one of my favourite players, Ronaldo (O fenomeno), because they are similar in so many ways and he is also a player Benzema has always looked up to and models his game on. Many can say Benzema has been facile more than anything since joining his “dream club” and that can be attributed to the fact that he’s played fewer minutes because the man he now has to step up for have been brilliant, more ruthless and seems to get better everytime he touches the field but one can’t over look the fact that when Benzema is indeed given his chance he sometimes find himself dissolving into a match, contributing nothing yet there are sometimes glimpses of his work ethic and abilities. Laurent Blanc a few months ago said that Benzema doesn’t work hard enough and that he is being surrounded by false friends who tell him “you’re the best, you play for Real Madrid, you don’t need to work” because he really DOES NOT work hard enough on the pitch. Hugo Sánchez has also stated his concerns about Benzema’s work ethic and has stated that the Frenchman still seems very confused about his role at the club and that he does not know what is expected at a club like Real Madrid.
Well the time is now for Benzema to show his skills, ability, that eye for goal he’s had in previous years at Lyon, time to completely win his spot over as a true Madridista, the man that fights for the colors of this great club. Time to give Higuaín some competition and a run for his starting spot. Good competition only makes you better, stronger thus creating more depth. However, failure to step up and carry the torch could see the end of Benzema’s career at the white house and it would be hard to see him stay beyond the summer, even if it is for a season long loan. His failure to perform could also act as a blessing for a few academy players to get their foot in the door for a first team spot and a chance at becoming the next Raúl or Butragueño, but not forgetting the club still has a big cheque book and could even look at the possibility of a few replacements such as, Džeko and Llorente.
As a fan of the kid, I have faith he will step up and carry the torch for the great whites and as such I hope he does so without any disappointments.