Ever since Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid, Real Madrid have been overly reliant on Karim Benzema to deliver the goods in front of the goal. The Frenchman has stepped up to the plate and performed admirably, but he will be 33 years old by the end of the year.

Real Madrid did sign Luka Jovic in the last summer in a mega-money deal, but the Serbian has struggled to make any sort of impact in his first season at Santiago Bernabeu and could very well be offloaded before the start of the next season.

With Benzema set to enter the twilight of his career, it is time for Real Madrid to look for a new centre-forward to support and gradually replace the Frenchman as the club’s top marksman. To that end, here are five strikers that Los Blancos should target.

Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)

The obvious one first. Kylian Mbappe has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid for a couple of years now. It is no secret that the Merengues’ boss, Zinedine Zidane is a huge admirer of his compatriot and wants him at the Bernabeu.

Mbappe has established himself as one of the most lethal forwards in the game at the age of just 21. Bursting onto the scenes with AS Monaco in 2016, the Frenchman has made huge strides in his career. The Golden Boy awardee in 2017, Mbappe signed for PSG in the same year, initially on loan, before making the transfer permanent a year later.

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During his time with PSG, Mbappe has plundered 90 goals in just 120 matches, while setting up 49 more. He has been directly involved in 47 goals (30 goals, 17 assists) in the 2019-20 season in just 33 games. The 2018 World Cup winner is a tailor-made striker for Real Madrid and would be the perfect player to carry the team forward.

Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)

The England captain has been one of the most consistent goalscorers across Europe over the past half a decade, which makes him an ideal target for Real Madrid.

Kane has already banged in 181 goals for Tottenham Hotspur, having breached the 20-goal mark in every season starting from 2014-15. In the ongoing term, the 26-year-old had netted 17 goals before being ruled out with a thigh injury in January.

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Kane has been one of the chief driving forces behind Tottenham’s rapid rise in stature over the past few years. And he has been at the forefront of the England national team’s recent success as well. Time and again, he has shown that he can carry the burden and the pressure that comes with being the leading marksman of a team, which is why Real Madrid should make an attempt to land him.

Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) 

Another Englishman on the list who has enjoyed a rapid rise in prominence in the past few years, Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford has become one of the most dangerous young forwards in the game.

Thrust into the limelight by Louis van Gaal back in 2016, the 22-year-old has grown from strength to strength with every passing season, establishing himself as Manchester United’s talisman in the process. Just 22 years of age, Rashford has already made over 200 appearances at club level and is a regular for the England national team as well.

Rashford had been in fine form this season, scoring 19 goals in 31 matches until an injury cut his campaign short. The 22-year-old has risen to every challenge that has been thrown at him so far in his career. Given his vast experience at such a young age and the immense potential that he has shown, he would be a great addition for Real Madrid for years and years to come.

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Timo Werner (RB Leipzig) 

One of the most in-demand centre-forwards in the transfer market, RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner has shown, season after season, that he is meant for great things. 

The 24-year-old German international has been one of the mainstays in the Leipzig side that has enjoyed a great surge in prominence in recent years. His 27 goals have been driving their Bundesliga title push this season, while also helping them ease into the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.

Someone who can score and create in equal measure, Werner has the pace to burn and is a top-notch finisher. He ticks all the boxes for Real Madrid, making him an enticing prospect for the record European champions.

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Raul Jimenez (Wolves)

A left-field choice, perhaps, but the form that Raul Jimenez has been in over the past couple of seasons for Wolves makes him a potential option for Real Madrid.

The Mexican international did not have the most prolific record during his time with Benfica (31 goals in 120 matches). However, that has changed drastically since he joined Wolves in 2018. Jimenez has already eclipsed his goal tally with Benfica in much fewer games for the Midlands’ outfit (39 goals in 88 matches).

Having led Wolves to a top-six finish in the Premier League last term, Jimenez has carried on in the same vein of form this term as well, already notching up 22 goals and 10 assists in 40 matches. At 28, Jimenez is much older than the other names on the list, but he is enjoying the most prolific years of his career and has the capability to be a huge success at Real Madrid.