After bidding goodbye to their long-serving superstar, Real Madrid was actively looking for an adequate replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo. However, the hunt for the next Galactico has not been easy for the La Liga giants. Almost all of the top transfer targets rejected the advances of Los Blancos but finally, they have been able to acquire the services of their youth product Mariano Diaz.
The 25-year-old striker left Real Madrid last year only to seek pastures new in France. He joined Ligue 1’s Olympique Lyonnais and quickly rose through the ranks after displaying his incredible finishing prowess. The Spanish forward scored 21 goals in his maiden season in the French league across all competitions.
Mariano’s goal-scoring exploits earned him many admirers and in the beginning of the summer transfer market, Sevilla emerged as the frontrunners to secure his signature. But later Real Madrid hijacked the move and activated the buy-back clause worth €30 million for the player they had released a year ago for €8 million.
Mariano started his Los Blancos career at the age of 19 with Real Madrid C outfit. After an underwhelming first season, he made his presence known with 15 goals in the second season. Mariano was promoted to the B side in the subsequent season where once again he had a first quiet season but stormed back to the peak of his powers in the second season by netting 27 strikes.
He was promoted to the senior side but couldn’t establish himself as a regular and managed just 5 goals in 14 appearances. He was offloaded to Lyon in the 2017-18 season where he showed his mettle by scoring 21 goals in 45 appearances across all competitions.
Real Madrid may have once again made a last-gasp signing like Alvaro Morata’s but will this acquisition bear them fruit? Mariano may have been signed to fill in the big boots of Cristiano Ronaldo but it is clear as the day that the Spaniard is miles away from replacing the departed legend.