Veteran striker makes his case for continuity at Real Madrid

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Real Madrid have had a history of boasting some of the greatest strikers to ever step foot on the football field – Ronaldo Nazario, Raúl, Alfredo Di Stéfano, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Karim Benzema to name a few.

Following Karim Benzema’s shocking departure last summer, many expected him to be replaced with another world-class striker with names such as Harry Kane, Victor Osimhen, and Kylian Mbappé being linked to the club.

However, the executives of the club had something different in mind – on 19th June, Real Madrid announced the signing of 33-year-old Joselu Mato on a one-year loan deal.

It was perhaps a return as the Spaniard had played 2 games for Real Madrid under José Mourinho and was an important part of the Castilla side.

As noted by Mundo Deportivo, everything so far indicates that the Spaniard can continue at Real Madrid next season, with the purchase option being activated or the loan deal being extended for another year.

This is despite the impending arrival of Endrick and the possible arrival of Kylian Mbappé, which would push Joselu further down the pecking order.

Joselu is doing what was expected of players like Luka Jovic and Mariano. Carlo Ancelotti has counted on him and whenever needed, he has put in the hard yards even when he is not involved on the attacking front.

Despite the fact that he has not been an undisputed starter for the club and has come off the bench in most games, the veteran striker is Madrid’s 3rd highest goal scorer this season, netting 13 goals along with 3 assists in 38 games.

Before joining Los Blancos, Joselu was enjoying a rich vein of form with RCD Espanyol as he ended up as La Liga’s 3rd highest goal scorer in the 2022/23 season with 16 goals in 34 games.

Upon his signing, he was given the number ‘14’ shirt as the historical number ‘9’ shirt was left vacant for the first time in the club’s history.

As far as his future is concerned, his loan deal expires on 30th June 2024 with an option to buy at the end of the season.

But for now, for a player who was not able to make it big at Real Madrid as a youth player and has gotten an opportunity to do so after his thirties – and as shown this season – he can still offer experience, work rate, and goals.

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