Zinedine Zidane has dispelled the idea of replacing Karim Benzema with another striker at the Santiago Bernabeu next season. The Real Madrid boss was speaking ahead of his side’s trip to face Leganes on Monday night.
“Benzema is compatible with everyone because he can bring all the good players together,” Zidane said when asked about his current forward. “Karim is a different player, he’s not a typical number nine. When I saw him start, he was playing more in midfield and out wide. He knows that he can do many things, he can score like a no.9 and he can do link-up play.”
There are also rumours about the possibly precarious future of Toni Kroos, but Zidane underlined the importance of the German midfielder.
“Kroos is a very good player, not only for me,” he said. “He’s done many good things in his five years here, he’s a calm player that doesn’t wilt under pressure. “I like him, I’ve always liked him. You talk and will continue to talk about Toni and other players that I don’t want… all of them are important and good enough.”
However, Kroos is expected to miss Monday’s match with Leganes due to illness: “He has something like gastroenteritis,” said Zidane. “He was bad last night and he hasn’t come. We’re going to see if he gets better between today and tomorrow, but he hasn’t been able to train with us today.”
Isco is a possible replacement for Kroos in Zidane’s midfield but the Spaniard’s future at the Bernabeu has been a hot topic for months.
“There are many players here that can be sold because they are all really good,” Zidane said. “Many clubs want many Real Madrid players, it’s nothing new. Isco is an important player and I like him. We’ll see what happens next year.”
Many have questioned whether, since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, Los Blancos have had a proper leader on the pitch: “You can do what you want but you can’t replace Cristiano,”Zidane said. “He’s gone but we can bring in other players that aren’t going to do what Cristiano has done. That’s life.”
Real Madrid will play on a Monday night for the first time in three seasons when they face Leganes and Zidane has no problem with playing on that particular day.
“There are many teams that play on a Monday, now it’s our turn,” he said. “We’ve had a very long week with many training sessions. We’ve taken advantage of working physically. When there’s a long week you can work, and we’ve done it well. You can’t work when you have three games in one week.”
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