Real Madrid needs Mauro Icardi to save its season
There could be no bigger joy for Real Madrid fans than to see a player brought up in Barcelona's famous La Masia academy turn their season around. Mauro Icardi can deliver that happiness. The 24-year-old Inter Milan star has been lined up for a deal to the European champion given its recent struggles in front of goal. It is only right that Los Blancos pursue the Argentina international's signature.
Icardi became famous through the love triangle involving former Sampdoria teammate Maxi Lopez, and that player's estranged wife. Now Icardi has transformed into one of the most impressive players in European football. He has maintained that form for going on five seasons. Wishful Madridistas must be hoping he does far better in blanco than he ever managed in the blaugrana strip.
Born in 1993 in Rosario, the city of Messi, Icardi and his family moved to Spain when he was just nine. Coaches recognised his talent. Even then young Mauro scored goals like they were going out of fashion. Legend has it he scored over 500 for Vecindario, a former professional club based in Gran Canaria.
Madrid is allegedly considering whether or not to trigger his Nerazzurri release clause, rumored to be £97 million. He is certainly an upgrade on the club’s first choice striker. Karim Benzema has only two goals in La Liga this campaign. Last season, the Frenchman netted 19 as Real Madrid won the Champions League/Primera Division double. Even so, back-up, Alvaro Morata, now inexplicably at Chelsea, pipped him by one while playing fewer minutes.
Real Madrid is in serious trouble this term. The crisis reached a new low when it lost 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu to lowly Leganes in the mid-week Copa Del Rey. It was an ignominious first of the kind that has become all too familiar this term. The defeat only served to put Zinedine Zidane under more pressure.
Madrid is currently 19 points behind Barcelona. It must face high-spending Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League knockout round. It desperately needs a number of new signings to add quality to the side. It should begin with Icardi. The 24-year-old is fast, technically adept, and good with his back to goal.
While running away with La Liga, Barcelona has been spending big on new players. The Merengues risk falling behind their bitter rivals. Icardi is said to be keen to test himself on a bigger stage. They don't come much bigger than the Bernabeu.
Real has won the last two European titles while Barcelona struggled with teams that stifled it off the ball. Ernesto Valverde has corrected the problem. As a result the Blaugrana are on collision course with a treble.
Icardi will offer Real that new player enthusiasm which can infect the rest of the squad. His goals will be crucial for Zidane, who can no longer rely on his usual providers. The player has all it takes to succeed in Madrid: 96 strikes in 169 games for Inter is no mean feat. The Argentine is young enough to lead Madrid for a number of years. Given he left Barcelona in 2011 because the Catalan club felt he didn’t have anything to offer, there is an added incentive to make the move.
As he did when exercising much poorer judgment with Marco Materazzi, Zizou must not hesitate. He should rush headlong into this deal before time runs out.