With reports in Spain suggesting that Arsenal have made contact with Real Madrid about the possible transfer of striker Karim Benzema – we ask the important questions: Is it the right move for the player and is he the right man for Arsenal?
It’s no secret that Arsene Wenger is a big fan of the striker and the Gunners boss has plenty of form when it comes to signing French-born players – albeit with varying degrees of success. However, while some of his previous purchases could be classed as calculated wagers, there can be no doubt that Benzema represents the finished article.
Since joining the Spanish club from Lyon in 2009, the French international has bagged 131 goals in 281 appearances and established himself as a first-team regular in one of world football’s toughest environments. He has also managed an impressive 25 goals in 76 appearances for the French national team. A move to Arsenal would be not be intimidating for a player that can boast four French League titles, one Spanish League title and a Champions League medal amongst his list of honours.
So far this summer, the North Londoners have made just one signing, but it certainly was a significant one as Petr Cech arrived from Chelsea in an £11m deal. The veteran shot-stopper should finally give Arsenal the world class option in goal that they have craved for so long.
With the signing of Cech and the recent acquisitions of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, the Gunners boss has shown that he is now in a position to spend serious money on already-established quality in order to bolster his team’s title ambitions.
If a deal can be struck at a figure close to the £31m being quoted, then Arsenal would be getting a proven goal scorer still in his prime at a great price. It could also give the Londoners genuine hope of wrestling the Premier League title away from their capital city rivals.
For Benzema, it would present an opportunity to play Champions League football at a club managed by a man that has been an admirer of his for many years. With suggestions that new Los Blancos boss Rafa Benitez may not be so keen on using the striker in his preferred central role, a move to the Emirates might provide the continuity that the Lyon-born front man desires.
In previous transfer windows, the player himself has expressed his reluctance to move away from the Bernabeu but after six years in Madrid, reports now suggest that he is open to a possible exit. If the Gunners can pull off this deal, they will certainly be a force to be reckoned with in the coming season.
Written by Neil Morris
Follow Neil on Twitter @nmorris01
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