Everything is pointing towards 2021 being Real Madrid’s ‘renovation’ year, but it still remains to be seen whether Kylian Mbappe or Erling Haaland will be the club’s centrepiece signing.
Mbappe has always seemed likely to end up at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, having had pictures of Cristiano Ronaldo adorn his childhood bedroom, having visited Real Madrid’s training ground, and having always idolised fellow countryman Zinedine Zidane. But the powerful figure of Haaland has burst onto the scene in the last year, and he is known to have impressed Los Blancos’ hierarchy with his goalscoring instincts.
With both dreaming of pulling on the famous white shirt, which way will the Real Madrid decision-makers go next summer? After an unprecedented transfer window just gone of no signings, it seems wholly unlikely that another summer will pass by without a big star arriving in the Spanish capital.
If Mbappe is the frontrunner, then Haaland is making strides behind him and has things in his favour. Firstly, he would be cheaper. And secondly, he is a pure No.9, which is something the club desperately require.
Mbappe is the more complete player, but he is more ‘known’ and perhaps doesn’t generate the interest of fans as much as Haaland. The latter’s friendship with fellow Norwegian Martin Odegaard could also play in his favour. If those are some of the 20-year-old’s virtues, then his youth is also a drawback.
Luka Jovic also played like a beast in the Bundesliga, but he has flattered to deceive since his move to Madrid. Haaland hasn’t really done anything yet, and hasn’t shown he can dominate Europe, or be the focal point of Zidane’s side, but he is definitely making good strides.
Mbappe, however, has achieved much more. He is the future, and he is already a world champion. The problems with him come in trying to extricate him from Paris Saint-Germain, and in particular his close friendship with Neymar, which has not endeared him to some in Madrid. But most view his destiny in white, and it’s in the club’s hands to make it happen.