The Hard Tackle lists three strikers Real Madrid can sign following the departure of Karim Benzema this summer.

The end of an era at Real Madrid is near. In a way, one phase has already culminated, with no player signed before 2010 left in the squad when the transfer window reopens this summer. And when Toni Kroos and Luka Modric exit, the dominant team will have ridden into the sunset. But the latest Real Madrid legend to depart is Karim Benzema, who should soon move to Saudi Arabia.

For a third successive summer transfer window, Real Madrid will lose the club captain after Sergio Ramos and Marcelo’s departures in 2021 and 2022, respectively. But Benzema’s exit has the potential to hurt Los Blancos more as they do not have an alternative to the Frenchman in the first-team squad.

While Eder Militao, David Alaba, and Antonio Rudiger have filled Ramos’s void, Alaba and Ferland Mendy are solid left-back options. But Carlo Ancelotti does not have a single recognised striker in the Real Madrid squad to replace Benzema when he calls it a day in the coming weeks.

The 35-year-old is the most successful player in Real Madrid’s history, winning a whopping 25 titles with them. On top of that, the veteran striker is Los Blancos’ second-highest scorer ever. So whoever replaces Benzema at Real Madrid following his departure will have big shoes to fill at the Santiago Bernabeu. With that in mind, The Hard Tackle lists three candidates to succeed the French attacker this summer.

Harry Kane

Our list begins with a player at the peak of his powers who has carried his team throughout this season. And with Tottenham Hotspur not playing any European football next season, he might be ripe for the taking. We are, of course, talking about Harry Kane.

The English international has been a goalscoring extraordinaire for Tottenham for nearly a decade. And come rain or shine, he has been a prolific scorer for the North London club. That has never been truer than the 2022/23 season, as he netted 32 goals as Tottenham struggled throughout the season.

Recent reports have suggested that Kane has become the priority target for Real Madrid to replace Benzema. But Los Blancos will compete with Manchester United for the 29-year-old’s signature in the summer transfer window. That said, they will have an advantage in the chase as Tottenham will not sell to another English club.

But Kane has Alan Shearer’s all-time Premier League record in his sights. So that gives Manchester United a slight advantage, albeit a minor one. But trophy-winning pedigree gives Real Madrid enough ammo to turn Kane’s head. And there is no doubting his quality and how he is the perfect candidate to fill Benzema’s void at the Bernabeu.

Roberto Firmino

Our list continues with a player closer to the twilight of his career instead of his peak years. But he will not cost Real Madrid anything, enabling them to focus the budget on other big-money arrivals ahead of an expensive rebuild. We are talking about Roberto Firmino.

The Brazilian international has been a legendary performer for Liverpool for nearly a decade. But his stint at Anfield is ending this summer. And like Benzema at Real Madrid, the 31-year-old is leaving Liverpool as a free agent in July.

But Firmino is 31 years old, four years younger than Benzema. And his style of play resonates closely with what the Frenchman has brought to the table throughout his Real Madrid career. The only drawback is the gulf of output, with the Brazilian nowhere near as prolific as Benzema.

Meanwhile, Firmino is also a target for Barcelona, apart from several Serie A clubs. But widespread reports have suggested that the Merengues are the front-runners to sign the Liverpool veteran. In addition, with Endrick arriving next year, landing a short-term solution like Firmino makes a world of sense.

Vitor Roque

The last name on our shortlist is a bit of a left-of-centre option, considering there have been no reports linking him with Real Madrid. But the potential this teenage prospect has shown in his young career makes him an enticing prospect. We are talking about Vitor Roque.

The 18-year-old recently made his debut for the Brazilian national side and is the talk of the town in his homeland. And Vitor Roque’s progress has captured the attention of several high-profile clubs, including Barcelona, Chelsea, and Arsenal.

But Barcelona cannot afford his high price tag and might push to secure his services next year. That will give Real Madrid a window of opportunity to launch the offensive and beat the Blaugrana to the teenage sensation. As for what Vitor Roque will bring to the table, he is still rough around the edges.

But there is a physical nature to the 18-year-old’s game, and he also runs the hard yards off the ball. That trait, in particular, might make him an ideal successor to Benzema at Real Madrid. But with Endrick arriving as the long-term solution next year, signing another teenager might not be the most sensible decision.

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