Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti confident Rodrygo can replace Karim Benzema when the time comes

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti believes Rodrygo could become the club's new starting striker when Karim Benzema hangs up his boots.

The Brazilian is a natural winger but has filled in as a striker in Benzema's absence, while the Ballon d'Or winner recovers from injury.

Rodrygo has already proved himself to be handy in front of goal as he has scored seven goals for Los Blancos in 17 games this season.

Ancelotti reckons the 21-year-old could have a future as a striker, if he continues putting the ball in the back of the net with regularity.

"[Rodrygo] has a great future, more as a centre-forward than as a winger. I see him more there," Ancelotti told the media.

The Italian tactician spoke to the press ahead of Real's La Liga clash with Rayo Vallecano on Monday night, confirming that Benzema remains sidelined.

"He's not going to play, he's ruled out," the boss said of Benzema.

"He won't play because he can't.

"His absence has allowed us to exploit the quality of players like Vinicius, Rodrygo, [Federico] Valverde. But we're going to need him after the World Cup."

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