REAL MADRID

Cavani, Raúl Jiménez, Dzeko, Gerard Moreno... Zidane's striking options

The goalless draw in Anoeta has raised concerns about Real Madrid's firepower this season with Zidane not keen on Mariano, Mayoral or Jovic.

Cavani, Raúl Jiménez y Dzeko.
AFP

Real Madrid’s first game of the season ended in 0-0 draw against Real Sociedad, which is by no means a bad result in one of the toughest away games Zinedine Zidane’s side will face this season but it did lay bare the lack of attacking options the Frenchman has at his disposal beyond Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard.

While Madrid’s defence is solid – after the Liga restart Zidane’s side conceded just four times as they sealed the title ahead of Barcelona - there was hardly a glut of goals. Six games were won by a one-goal margin and three of those were 1-0. Zidane preferred to hand debuts to Castilla wingers Marvin Park and Sergio Arribas while Luka Jovic and Borja Mayoral remained on the bench in Anoeta, suggesting the Frenchman is not entirely happy with his squad. 

Zidane is only one Benzema injury away from a mini-crisis up front and the Madrid boss may elect to dip into the market before the window closes to snap up a new striker for the 2020-21 season with four options standing out.

Edinson Cavani (free agent)

He may be 33 but the prospect of snapping up the Uruguay forward on a free may tempt the Bernabéu board. A move to Benfica fell through apparently due to financial issues and while Madrid are seeking to keep things cheap this summer with Kylian Mbappé in mind a one-year deal could be a mutually beneficial move.

PSG’s all-time top-scorer has never been less than prolific, banging in 168 goals for the Ligue 1 side and 97 for Napoli before that. Last season Cavani was hampered by injuries and the arrival of Mauro Icardi but he scored 23 in 2018-19 and 40 a year earlier. With Gareth Bale and James Rodríguez off the wage bill, Cavani is affordable and would offer a solid back-up option should Benzema be unavailable.

Edin Dzeko (Roma)

Another veteran with a decent scoring record, the 34-year-old striker has 279 career goals and appears set to leave Roma as soon as the signing of Arkadiusz Milik from Napoli is confirmed. The former Wolfsburg and Manchester City forward would be available on the cheap and he shows no signs of slowing down after bagging 19 goals and 13 assists for the Serie A side last season. Juventus were interested before they re-signed Álvaro Morata, proving that Dzeko is still desirable at the elite level.

Gerard Moreno (Villarreal)

The third-highest scorer in LaLiga last season and the most prolific Spanish marksman in the competition, Moreno rattled in 18 goals and has nearly 120 over the course of his career. He has already found the net twice this season and would be available for around €30m, assuming Villarreal would be open to doing business. Zidane could use Mayoral or Mariano as a makeweight in any deal for the 28-year-old Spain striker.

Raúl Jiménez (Wolves)

Another player Juve looked at earlier in the summer, the 29-year-old Mexico striker gained some infamy at Atlético Madrid when pro-Madrid social media activity emerged and he managed just one league goal in his single season at the Calderón. Last season at Wolves he scored 27 goals in all competitions and would cost in the region of €40m if the Premier League side decide to sell.