Jovic: I can play up front alongside Benzema at Real Madrid
The big-money summer signing says he can play alongside the Frenchman at the Bernabeu, though the final decision will be up to Zinedine Zidane
Luka Jovic feels he can play alongside Karim Benzema in the same team but indicated he is happy to let Zinedine Zidane decide how to use him at Real Madrid.
Serbia striker Jovic signed a six-year deal to join Los Blancos after hitting 27 goals in all competitions for Eintracht Frankfurt last term.
Jovic’s €70 million (£62m/$79m) arrival is part of a major rebuild for Madrid after a disappointing campaign, with Eden Hazard, Eder Militao, Rodrygo Goes and Ferland Mendy also arriving at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Benzema hit 21 La Liga goals in 2018-19 and was one of the few Madrid players to impress, although Jovic could usurp him in the team.
The 21-year-old, though, suggested at his Madrid unveiling on Wednesday that he and Benzema are “compatible”.
“When he [Benzema] arrived [at Real Madrid], I was 11,” Jovic told a news conference.
“He’s one of the best in the world and I hope to learn a lot from him.
“I think we’re compatible, but Zidane will be the one to decide.
“I have not spoken with Zidane and at Eintracht I played up front [on his own] or with other strikers.”
Madrid president Florentino Perez claimed Madrid saw off competition from some of Europe’s elite clubs to sign Jovic.
Barcelona were rumoured to have watched the forward earlier in the year but the striker says he was unaware of interest from any clubs other than Madrid.
“I did not know of any other offer,” Jovic said. “I was not aware of any other offer that was not from Madrid. I spoke with my agent, he told me about the Madrid offer and I accepted it quickly.”
Jovic has not yet been assigned a squad number but, with the No.7 and No.11 shirts already occupied by Mariano Diaz and Gareth Bale respectively, and with Hazard also arriving, he insists it does not matter what he gets.
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“The number does not matter and it is not important,” he added.
Jovic has already been on a charm offensive with Madrid fans since joining, claiming that he used to sleep in the shirt of Cristiano Ronaldo as a child.
However, following a huge summer outlay at the club, there will be little room for sentiment and he will be expected to hit the ground running at the Bernabeu.
Jovic showed little sign of being distracted by the attention around him over the international break, scoring a stunning goal in Serbia’s 4-1 demolition of Lithuania in their European Championship qualifier.