Booed and whistled as he trudged off the pitch at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, and blamed for Real Madrid’s poor display against Barcelona, Karim Benzema also picked up an injury which avoids a tough decision for Zinedine Zidane.
It has been a difficult start to the season for the centre-forward, being criticised and not for the first time, but Zidane has kept faith in the number nine.
The injury now means that French coach will not have to decide whether Benzema keeps his place, a hip injury likely to keep him out until three weeks into January at least.
Sources insist that Benzema will return to the team and will still be first choice, but the club are looking for competition in that position.
Whether such a signing would come in January or in the summer is unclear.
The club want a new leader up-front and Zidane wants a player who can compete at the highest level, though he believes that can still be Benzema and that’s something he has made clear to the directors.
He is determined and confident that the striker can turn the situation around.
The absence of the former Lyon man will clear the path for Gareth Bale to come back into the starting line-up, alongside the likes of Marco Asensio and Isco.
They are players who are being demanded by the supporters, and the injury to Benzema has avoided a tough selection decision… for now.
With 20 games under his belt so far this season, Benzema is undisputedly first choice, but he has registered just five goals and two assists which has sparked questions over his continued role in the side.