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Benzema is outstanding, Madrid don't need a new striker - Courtois

10:46 GMT 23/12/2019
Karim Benzema Real Madrid 2019-20
After the Blancos slumped to a second successive goalless draw in La Liga, the Belgian goalkeeper insisted that signing a new frontman is unnecessary

Real Madrid don't need to bring in a new striker in January, according to Thibaut Courtois, who has pointed to the number of goals Karim Benzema has already scored this season.

Zinedine Zidane's men dropped two valuable points in the Liga title race after being held to a 0-0 draw by Athletic Club on Saturday at Santiago Bernabeu .

The result followed a stalemate in last week's Clasico against Barcelona at Camp Nou, with Madrid lacking a cutting edge in the final third of the pitch throughout both fixtures.

The Blancos added Serbian striker Luka Jovic and Belgian winger Eden Hazard to their ranks in the summer transfer window, but the former has failed to live up to expectations and the latter has struggled with persistent fitness issues.

Benzema has, therefore, continued to serve as Madrid's first-choice centre-forward, scoring 16 goals in 23 outings across all competitions.

Courtois insists that the Frenchman is still perfectly capable of leading the line on his own, and doesn't think that Madrid need to bring in any extra attacking reinforcements when the transfer market reopens.

When asked whether Madrid still need to replace Cristiano Ronaldo, who left the Bernabeu to join Juventus in 2018, Courtois told reporters: "You talk about a man who scored 40-50 goals a year, you can miss him.

"But he left a year and a half ago, we have players who can score goals too. Bad luck and good goalkeepers, it's a bit of everything at the moment. I don't have an explanation for why the ball doesn't want to go in, but I trust that my team-mates can score at any time.

"Karim is outstanding, he has scored a lot of goals already. I don't think a signing is necessary, I fully trust the team."

Courtois added on fellow countryman Hazard's opening few months in the Spanish capital as he continues to recover from an ankle injury which has seen him miss Madrid's last six fixtures: "Obviously, I don't know if he has been at his best level, but he created a lot of danger.

"He is one of the best in the world and you miss him, although the others played well. He is sad that he could not help the team, he would have loved to play in Mestalla or the Clasico. I hope that against Getafe he can play. Time will fix it, you don't have to risk it."

Madrid are second in La Liga at the halfway stage of the 2019-20 campaign, two points behind Barcelona, who earned some breathing space at the summit with 4-1 victory at home to Deportivo Alaves on Saturday.

Courtois admitted to having a "bad taste" in his mouth after the Blancos' latest setback, but reserved praise for his opposite number Unai Simon, who produced a stellar display between the sticks for Athletic.

"It leaves us with a bad taste because we had two very intense matches [before playing Athletic]," he said. "We struggled to get into the game at the start and then we didn't have luck on our side.

"We hit the woodwork three times and then the goalkeeper also deserves credit. Athletic try to frustrate you and the referee followed their game. They are two points lost, but we have to keep going."

Courtois concluded: "We have ended 2019 well in La Liga. At home, we've dropped some points against some teams, and you come away disappointed, but overall we only lost one game and now we have to keep going."