Real Madrid CF had a successful 2021-22 campaign, winning the UEFA Champions League, La Liga Santander and the Spanish Supercup. However, throughout the season, it became very clear that striker Karim Benzema was indispensable. As the start of the next season approaches, manager Carlo Ancelotti is curiously not scrambling to sign another forward to provide cover for the Frenchman.

Following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo in 2018, Benzema established himself as Real Madrid's main driving force up front. Last season was perhaps the best of his entire career so far, but in the rare instances that he was sidelined, Los Blancos clearly struggled.

Apart from the explosion of Vinicius Junior as another formidable player on the front line, back-up strikers Luka Jovic and Mariano Diaz both failed to make any sort of impact whenever Benzema was forced to miss a match. This summer, Jovic has been sold to Serie A side Fiorentina, while Mariano will likely continue to sit on the bench if no interested suitors come knocking. If he finds the exit door this summer, his departure won't make that much of an impact on Ancelotti's plans as he would have been benched most of the time anyway.

Real Madrid were expected to seek out another solid striker, but after Kylian Mbappe snubbed their advances and Erling Haaland decided to join Manchester City, they decided to basically close the market early.

During the pre-season, Ancelotti made it clear that he is optimistic about being able to count on Eden Hazard as a false 9. The Belgian is also determined to finally return to full fitness and repay the club for their patience and investment.

Real Madrid Castilla forward Juanmi Latasa is also being eased into the squad slowly. He may be given some opportunities to suit up for the first team depending on how much he impressed the Italian manager in the USA.

Meanwhile, Diario AS reports that Ancelotti has decided to focus on a couple of players who were outstanding last season despite having had fewer minutes on the pitch as they would have liked. Brazilian youngster Rodrygo Goes scored some crucial goals for Real Madrid last season, and Marco Asensio also made substantial contributions whenever he was called up.

However, there is still a possibility that Asensio might seek pastures new in his desire to play more. If that happens, Ancelotti will then be more compelled to seek out another attacker. Otherwise, he is happy with his current squad.

Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema scored the winner as Real Madrid fought back to reach the Champions League final AFP / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU