Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid's manager, admitted a few weeks ago that his team must accelerate the process of rejuvenating the squad and listed the virtues of proven young stars such as Vinicius Junior, Edouard Camavinga and Rodrygo.
However, he still did not know at that stage that the most central player of all, far from being a child, was about to leave, but with the announcement on Sunday of his farewell to Benzema, 35, the race to find a suitable replacement began.
It is not at all certain that Ancelotti would want to land a young player in the Frenchman's slot. He needs a proven scorer, who has excelled on the big stages. He's about to get his elimination from relegated Espanyol, but this is a 33-year-old striker destined for the bench.
Benzema. It won't be easy to replace him, Photo: Reuters
The name exchange created specifically for Benzema's replacement includes three main names, the first of which is Harry Kane, Tottenham's top scorer and one of the Premier League's bombers, who is desperate to leave his club.
Kane, who will soon turn 30, is also wanted by Manchester United, but looks set to prefer the Spanish option. With a resume of 279 goals in 435 games for Tottenham, he looks like he could fill Benzema's void.
Firmino. Will fit Real's Brazilian side, Photo by: Getty Images
Next on the list is Roberto Firmino, who left Liverpool last week after eight years and more than 110 goals. He's no longer a kid either (he turns 32 in October), but he's still hungry for success and goals, and his style can work well with the other Brazilians on the Spanish side, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo.
However, it must be remembered that Firmino has experienced a number of injuries in recent seasons, and is not as resilient as Benzema has been over the years. Perhaps freshening up, with a new team, will once again bring out the good old days he knew on Merseyside.
Kai Havertz. A worthwhile investment?, Photo: Getty Images
The last name is young German Kai Havertz, a Chelsea player. At the age of 23, he is finishing a third season at Stamford Bridge and, unlike the other two, he has not scored much, and looks more like an investment that will pay off in just a season or two.
This is still not a reason to rule out his acquisition, after all he is a very talented attacking player who, in the right team - if he withstands the pressure - can explode and realize his potential.
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