As the transfer season begins to take shape, theScore is handing out grades to the teams involved in the biggest dealings of the summer.
Real Madrid began their recruitment drive Tuesday, signing 21-year-old Serbian striker Luka Jovic from Eintracht Frankfurt for a reported €65-million fee that could rise with add-ons. Jovic recorded 27 goals and six assists in the Bundesliga and Europa League during the 2018-19 season.
Succession plans are finally in place. Although Karim Benzema was productive last term, registering 30 goals in all competitions, it wasn't enough to keep club president Florentino Perez from dipping into the market. Madrid made the move knowing Benzema turns 32 at the end of the calendar year and that Mariano Diaz and Lucas Vazquez are inadequate replacements.
A mobile striker who likes to connect with his teammates, Jovic plays a lot like Benzema. His explosiveness in the penalty area is a sight to behold and a terrifying prospect for defenders. Jovic can finish with both his left and right foot and sprint at commendable speed. He's tailor-made to please a crowd as demanding as the Madrid faithful.
Jovic is also further evidence that Madrid are serious about a youth movement. He'll be joined in attack by Vinicius Junior - an intelligent dribbler who loves to cut in from the left wing - and, potentially, Eden Hazard. It's coming at a great cost, but considering Madrid tightened their belts in recent years, it's long overdue.
Eintracht turned a small bet into big earnings.
Sporting director Fredi Bobic noticed Jovic wasting away on Benfica's bench and decided to take him on loan.
Two years later, Eintracht have come away like bandits.
"In one month in Frankfurt, I ran more than in an entire year in Lisbon," Jovic said.
Eintracht signed Jovic permanently in April for €7 million and flipped him to Madrid for nearly 10 times the value. As part of the prearranged deal, Benfica will take a reported 30 percent of the fee. That still leaves the German outfit with tens of millions in revenue. It's a significant sum for a club that narrowly missed out on the lucrative Champions League last term. Eintracht could use the funds to regenerate the playing squad and invest in infrastructure.
"In sporting terms, Luka Jovic will be a real loss for us," Bobic said in a statement from the club, "but we obviously knew in this case that every player has their price."
Eintracht are the latest outfit to make a quick profit on a young player. Genoa did the same with Krzysztof Piatek midway through the season, selling the Polish striker to AC Milan for a reported €35 million. Maybe the clubs who developed these players deserve a larger chunk of the pie, but Eintracht and Genoa won't care.