Ancelotti must resolve Real Madrid's struggle to score goals
Since Cristiano left, Madrid's goal-scoring average has plummeted. Mbappé, Haaland and Lewandowski are three options to remedy the problem.
Real Madrid have historically been a high-scoring team but goals have been much harder to come by during the past few seasons. Carlo Ancelotti has inherited a problem which affected his predecessors from Lopetegui to Solari and Zidane. Madrid with Cristiano Ronaldo scored goals for fun, but since the Portuguese player's departure, the goals have dried up. And more recently, they lost the team's second, top scorer over the past three seasons in Sergio Ramos. Madrid need someone who can guarantee a regular supply of goals - the likes of Mbappé, Haaland, Lewandowski - even Cristiano, whose return isn't completely out of the question. They are the options open to the club while it decides what to do with Luka Jovic (who scored four goals last season, two of them while on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt) and Mariano (who ended last season with just one).
Madrid's goals slump
Ancelotti finds himself in charge of a very different Madrid side to the one he left in 2015. During the Cristiano era (2009-2018) Madrid averaged 2.66 goals per game. Last season, that figures was down to 1.69. It's practically a goal per game less, on average, and the team's struggles to find the net last season were evident in the goalless draws against Getafe, Osasuna and Betis as well as the 1-1 draw with Elche - results which ultimately cost them the league title.
There are players in the transfer market who would help to resolve the problem. The first is the club's prime objective, Kylian Mbappé. The French striker would provide an immediate injection of goals if he were to sign for Madrid this summer and not in 2022. Cristiano is still firing them in regularly - he hit 36 goals for Juventus in 2020-21 and picked up the Golden Boot award at Euro 2020 with Portugal. He would be open to returning to Chamartín but it seems that for Madrid, it is a ship that sailed long ago. The two other solutions are in the Bundesliga. Lewandowski (48 goals) hold out hope to play for Madrid one day; and Haaland, who in theory will continue for another season at Borussia Dortmund, but with Mino Raiola handling his affairs you never know...
Whether they bring a goal scorer in from elsewhere or solve the problem in-house, it's clear that Madrid's goal scoring problems aren't going to go away on their own. Despite having a poor season last year, Sergio Ramos contributed 25 goals in the last three campaigns. His substitute, David Alaba, scored seven in the same period with Bayern.
Bale to the rescue?
For now, Ancelotti's quick-fix is to get everyone giving more. “Benzema has to score 50 goals, not 30. Vinicius has to score goals. We need more goals from everyone else...” the coach said on the day of his presentation. The numbers paint a very clear picture. Last season, after Benzema (30 goals) the next players in the list were Asensio and Casemiro with seven each. Now Gareth Bale is back, he could chip in with a few goals. During his loan at Tottenham, he scored 16 goals, an average of one every 104 minutes.