Arsene Wenger dropped some very, very interesting hints regarding Karim Benzema while commentating on the UEFA Champions League final on Saturday night for French station Telefoot (TF1).
For Arsenal fans, it’s enough to send them into overdrive: The club have been linked quite heavily to Benzema since winning the FA Cup, via The Mirror, among others, and the end of a nine-year trophy drought appears to have awakened the dragon inside the Emirates Stadium.
First on the list of summer needs is a striker to replace Olivier Giroud at the head of the 4-2-3-1 formation. It’s not that Giroud played poorly, hence his 16 Premier League goals this past season, but he doesn’t show the mobility and speed necessary to lead a title-winning side.
Benzema does, and his tape from the 2013-14 campaign speaks volumes of his ability as a player.
That the Santiago Bernabeu simply refuse to take to him is odd, and while he won’t “run through brick walls” like legend Raul Gonzalez would, his record is simply astounding.
He has 111 goals and 62 assists in five full seasons; another year or two and he’ll be overtaking 10-plus-year veterans in the top-10 all-time goalscorers list for Real Madrid.
He scores with his head, both feet, on the turn and in one vs. one situations, but perhaps most importantly, he’s your prototypical mobile target man who can drop in and find runners on the shoulder.
His role this season has been to create chances for Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale rather than score himself, first and foremost. He still managed to notch 24, per ESPNFC, in league, club and European play.
Benzema would steam through on the counterattack and tee up Bale and Ronaldo on a game-by-game basis in the Champions League this season, while he also boasts the individual ability to impact the match himself.
Translate his in-the-box presence and understanding of runners to Arsenal, and it’s easy to see he, Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott forming a devastating trio. Add a direct winger on the left, perhaps Antoine Griezmann of Real Sociedad, and it’s an awesome foursome up front for the Gunners.
Forget the Champions League-winning stock of Mario Mandzukic, the wild-card Mario Balotelli and the promise of Michy Batshuayi; Benzema is the No. 1 striker on the market this summer and Arsenal would pull off the coup of coups to land him.
( Courtesy Bleacher Report ……….. Source ……….. New Africa Business News)