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Why This French Finisher Is The Right Man For Arsenal
Footytubeblog (Blog) 2 years ago
The Real Madrid summer transfer merry-go-round appears to be gathering pace with the rumours emanating from various press sources that Luis Suarez is set to be the next name Florentino Perez wishes to add to his star-studded frontline. And as is the way with these deals, they often require a makeweight. Step up, Karim Benzema.

The Frenchman is set to be the latest of their line-up to be offloaded in order to raise some funds to supplement a potential bid for Suarez. Arsene Wenger – a known admirer of Benzema – was interested last summer before he opted to break the bank for Mesut Ozil, and it is thought that the Arsenal boss is considering a second attempt at gaining his signature this summer.

Olivier Giroud has been over-burdened this season - despite a relatively impressive return of 23 goals and nine assists – and Wenger is keen to bolster the attacking force of his side in order to better compete with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City. The addition of Benzema would not only provide relief for Giroud, he would also be able to dovetail well with Arsenal’s big frontman.

A return of 26 goals and 13 assists from Benzema this season isn’t a bad one, though he may have wished to be more productive. He’s produced a not too dissimilar output to Giroud, but in a team that you could arguably have expected slightly more from him.

Benzema has never been fully accepted by the exceptionally demanding Madridistas, and has faced a number of vocal critics during his five years at the club. His work-rate at times is questionable, his application not the best, and he can go missing in the big games. But when Benzema is on song, there are few better strikers.

On a technical level, the Frenchman would be at ease among Wenger’s men. He has an immaculate first touch, and has the ability to hold the ball up and bring others into play. However, unlike Olivier Giroud, Benzema has the pace to break in behind higher defences, thus adding a different dimension to the Gunners’ frontline.

With 113 goals in his five years at Madrid, Benzema is prolific in front of goal. But he isn’t just a goalscorer. Having created 69 chances in La Liga this season, he is third out of Madrid’s players, behind just Angel Di Maria and Isco. At Arsenal, only Mesut Ozil has made more goalscoring opportunities for his team-mates in the Premier League.

One more aspect of Benzema’s play is his proficiency on the counter-attack. Having Benzema flanked by Ronaldo and Di Maria in the past few seasons, and Gareth Bale nowadays, Madrid have often utilised the pace and power to devastating effect on the break. This type of ruthlessness is something Arsenal have lacked consistently this season. If Benzema were to arrive, his ability on the counter would be a more than welcome addition to Wenger’s resources.

Whether he would play as a lone striker, or double-up with Giroud would be a matter for Wenger to work on. The French connection between the two strikers is there from their international experience, and the chance to build this relationship is something that may intrigue the Arsenal boss. Benzema has the experience of playing as both a lone striker, and as half of a partnership – at times with Cristiano Ronaldo – so his adaptability is a key facet of his game.

Heading into the World Cup, France don’t have the weight of expectation, or the tempestuousness that previous French squads have buckled under. They have a highly talented squad, in which Benzema is one of the most prominent contributors. On paper, an easy group lies in front of Les Bleus. One which should be beneath the French, if they bring their ‘A-game’. Benzema doesn’t need an international tournament to put his name in the shop window, but a good showing may just buoy him into the next domestic campaign.

Arsenal made a step forwards when signing Ozil last summer. A signing of the quality and profile of Karim Benzema would put the Gunners another step in the right direction. Given his variety and consistent goalscoring feats, he would fit right in at the Emirates. Many have lamented their dearth of pace and a genuine goal-getter. Benzema would provide an answer to both worries.

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