Real Madrid’s striker problems leads them towards Almeida
Real Madrid have long been linked with signing a new striker and Werder Bremen’s Hugo Almeida is the latest name to be linked with the Spanish giants.
With a distinct lack of strikers at his disposal, Jose Mourinho was always likely to struggle if he suffered any injuries in attack to either Cristiano Ronaldo or Gonzalo Higuain.
And this has duly happened as Higuain has been diagnosed with spinal disc herniation and this could rule him out for up to three months if it is decided that he needs surgery.
Mourinho now faces a decision of whether to send a patched-up Higuain onto the field until January when a new striker could be bought, replace him with Karim Benzema or change formation so that only one forward is selected.
The decision will be a big one for Mourinho as he has two points to make up on Barcelona at the head of the standings if Real Madrid are to defy betting odds of 13/10 and win La Liga.
Higuain has seven goals from 12 league starts this season, but it is unlikely that he will have the same positive impact when not fully fit.
Therefore, it seems a risk to make Higiuain play through the pain barrier, particularly as Real Madrid face potentially difficult games in the next month against teams including Valencia, Zaragoza and Sevilla.
With Mourinho already stating in the past that he is not Benzema’s biggest fan, it seems almost certain that a new striker will be arriving at the Bernabeu in January to bolster Real Madrid’s title bid.
Athletic Bilbao’s Fernando Llorente has been a long-time target, but 26-year-old Almeida has also emerged as a frontrunner in the pack.
Almeida has nine goals in 13 appearances for Bremen this season and has indicated that he would “swim to Real Madrid” if he was offered the chance to play for them.
A £10 bet on Real Madrid beating Valencia 1-0 at home in their next game would result in winnings of £60 and this could be especially likely if Higuain does not feature. New Ladbrokes customers can sign up here for a free £10 bet.