Joselu passes Real Madrid medical, but won’t take number 9 shirt

Madrid, Jun 20 (EFE).- Joselu Mato, who recently joined Real Madrid on loan from relegated Espanyol, passed his medical on Tuesday and posed with his new jersey, which will bear the number 14.

At a press conference following his unveiling, the Spanish international striker said that he was “honored” to wear the famous white shirt, regardless of what number was on the back.

“Wearing the Real Madrid crest on my chest is the greatest honor you can have. It is a very emotional day. I would like to thank the president of the club for his confidence,” he said at his presentation ceremony held at the Valdebebas sports complex.

“I’ve always said “Hala Madrid!”, the striker, who had already worn the Real Madrid shirt for two seasons, 2010-2012, added with a smile.

Former star striker Karim Benzema, who wore the iconic number 9 jersey during his gilded spell at the Bernabeu, departed for Saudi Arabia after 14 years leading the line for Madrid.

Real have since been linked with several high-profile strikers, including PSG’s Kylian Mbappe, and the fact that the number remains unclaimed indicates that Joselu will play more of a supporting role in the side next season, although president Florentino Perez has insisted that no more players will join in this transfer window.

The striker arrives at Real Madrid on loan from Espanyol, with whom he scored 16 goals last campaign, with an option to buy at the end of the season and two days after winning the Nations League with Spain.

Joselu played a crucial role in that tournament, scoring the winning goal in the semi-final against Italy before converting his spot-kick during the penalty shootout against Croatia in the final.

His arrival joins the previous new additions to the Real Madrid squad presented last week: Fran García, Brahim Díaz and Englishman Jude Bellingham. EFE


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