Karim Benzema may have called time on his Real Madrid career earlier than most would have predicted, but the Frenchman achieved all he could in the Spanish capital. He bid farewell to the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday as the club’s second-top all-time scorer and one of the most decorated players in Merengues history.
The 35-year-old is a Ballon d’Or winner and one of the best centre forwards of his generation. Benzema’s exit will leave a hole at Real Madrid, one the Spanish giants must fill before the start of next season. Harry Kane has quickly emerged as Los Blancos’ preferred target and there’s good reason to believe the Englishman would be a success there.
Kane would be the perfect successor to Benzema at the Santiago Bernabeu. He is the only striker who can claim to boast a similar skill set to Benzema with both players just as good at conducting attacks as they are at finishing them off. Real Madrid need more than just a penalty box finisher and Kane is certainly more than that. He is the full package.
Real Madrid would be able to drop Kane into their team without much concern about the Englishman’s compatibility. Kane would surely forge a partnership with Vinicius Junior just as Benzema did – see how Kane and Son Heung-min were such a devastating duo with the latter quick to run beyond the former.
In midfield, Kane could be harnessed by the likes of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Aurelien Tchouameni with Jude Bellingham expected to join Real Madrid this summer. After years of playing in a deteriorating team at Tottenham Hotspur, Kane would be spoiled by the quality of the teammates around him in Spain. The service he’d receive would be on another level.
This summer presents Kane with a career crossroads. He is entering the final year of his contract at Tottenham Hotspur and at 29 the England captain might not have the stamina for another rebuild of the North London club. If Kane is to challenge for football’s biggest trophies and honours, now is the time for him to make a move.
Manchester United are believed to be interested in signing Kane with Erik Ten Hag desperate to land a number nine ahead of the 2023/24 season. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Chelsea could make an offer for the England striker with Kane’s former manager Mauricio Pochettino now in charge at Stamford Bridge.
A move to Real Madrid, however, would give Kane the platform he has wanted his entire career. He would be the face of one of the biggest clubs in the world, a club that has has won five Champions Leagues and three La Liga titles in the last 10 years. Kane would almost certainly get his hands on silverware in all-white.
“It was a surprise, he thought it through,” Carlo Ancelotti said when asked about his response to the news that Benzema will leave Real Madrid this summer. “His decision is part of a process for this club that has begun to make a transition, we have time to think about what we are going to do.”
Real Madrid have known for some time that they would have to replace Benzema at some point in the future. The Frenchman might have surprised Ancelotti by the timing of his departure, but Real Madrid are now doing something they have surely planned for on some level. Kane would be a blockbuster signing and also the best-equipped player to ensure there is no significant drop-off once Benzema leaves.