In some latest Karim Benzema transfer news, Arsenal have been linked with a move…again. I don’t know exactly when the first time Benzema and Arsenal were linked but these kind of rumours feel like they have been going on for the best part of a decade. Reports suggest Real are finally going to be prepared to sell next year and Arsenal are finally going to get a player they have long shown an interest in.
Nationality: 81 caps 27 goals
Transfer Fee: No mention
2016/17 League Stats: 23 starts (6 sub appearances) 11 goals (5 assists)
Verdict: If nothing else, you can’t say Real Madrid aren’t predictable. The slightest sniff of some average league form and all sorts of players are meant to be heading out of the exit door. They are an easy target for the media though given the often ruthless approach by the Real hierarchy.
3 games in, 2 home draws and Real Madrid are having a mini-crisis. All kinds of questions are being asked, especially of the players. Karim Benzema is no exception.
By Real’s standards they were relatively inactive in the transfer market with the only notable signings being those of youngsters Theo Hernandez and Dani Ceballos. It’s believed Zidane didn’t want to disrupt the harmony within his all-conquering squad. Given how far ahead of everyone else they were last season, both in Spain and the rest of Europe you can see the logic but as they always say, “if you stand still, you’re going backwards.”
It’s certainly been a move away from their famous ‘Galatico’ approach. President Florentino Perez is unlikely to be completely comfortable with relinquishing control in transfer matters for long so you can see the logic behind the media stories linking exits and arrivals, to some extent.
Despite Real’s domination last season Benzema didn’t have the best of seasons personally. It was ok by most standards but Real expect more. He scored less than half the number of goals he did the previous season, whilst he was down on his average goal rate from his 8 seasons at the Bernabeu by around 25%. So it was a notable drop int hat respect too. It was one of his least prolific seasons in Spain. In some respects it’s therefore not really surprising that questions are being asked, given his and the team’s slow start to this season as well.
These kind of stories are inevitable in these circumstances when it comes to Real Madrid.
I’ve never really gotten the impression that Benzema has been taken completely to the hearts of the Real Madrid fans or even fans and pundits in general. He’s a divisive character who has had his off the field controversies. Whilst he sometimes gives the impression that he doesn’t care when he’s on the pitch. Sometimes his contribution looks questionable.
His form has lacked the consistency to ever be considered amongst the top strikers in the World for me. He’s probably in the tier of strikers just below the best. He’s disappointed on some of the biggest stages too. His strike rate for France is not that impressive. I can’t think of many international tournaments where he’s impressed.
You could say it is surprising that Real have kept Benzema as long as they have when they’ve let Higuain and more recently, one of their own, Morata go.
On the whole Benzema has been a proven, reliable goal-scorer though and Real will have a got a good 9 years out of him by the end of the season. He probably has another 2 or 3 years left in him too but it’s not impossible to see Real Madrid cashing in on him, whilst transfer fees are so large and replacing him with someone just as good, if not better, who’d also be considerably younger.
I’ve seen the likes of Dybala from Juventus mentioned or even Griezmann from their neighbours Atletico. The latter would be difficult to see however given the loyalty Griezmann has already shown by staying this season. Barcelona or Man Utd look more likely in my opinion. Dybala looks very possible.
As with a lot of transfer speculation it will really depend on who Real sign as a replacement. It does only look a matter of time however until Dybala goes to Spain or England but given Bale’s higher value and even more questionable form, I would expect to see the Welshman leave before Benzema. So it’s likely going to take a couple of additions before Benzema see the’s the exit door.
I’m not fully convinced all the players will be available or that the likes of Asensio is seen as ready to be a first team starter to enable the sell of Benzema quite yet. I’d give his sell a less than 50% chance right now.
In terms of Arsenal, I’m not convinced they would need him anyway. Yes they may be losing Sanchez and even Ozil but both are more attacking midfield options. As I’ve said before it’s not unheard of for Wenger to make strange decisions so it’s possible he could use Lacazette or even Benzema deeper. Both are much better higher up the pitch though.
In Lacazette Arsenal have a really top class striker already and that is the main reason why I don’t think they need another. A fit Wellbeck is more than capable of covering, as is Giroud. If they lost either of them then they could do with another striker sure but would Benzema be happy on the bench? I wouldn’t want anything to stand in Lacazette’s way to the first-team too often. It could be difficult accommodating both. A change of formation would be the only sensible answer.
Arsenal have far bigger problems than the striker department though. They could be losing a ton of quality next summer which will add to the problems that already exist within their squad. Attacking midfield, due to departures, centre midfield and centre defence will need their main focus but then the latter 2 have for a while now.
Would Benzema want to join Arsenal anyway? With everything that’s been going on there you’d expect him to do a bit of research before a potential move. It’s a big drop from Real but so are most clubs…
At the moment, I don’t see Benzema leaving and not for Arsenal. Given the French connection and Arsenal’s questionable transfer strategy it wouldn’t come as a complete surprise. He could be seen a as their glamour signing of the window to try and sooth the lost of Sanchez and Ozil but it would only paper over the cracks.
Ultimately though I think Real will probably need more than one transfer window to complete the transition from Bale, Benzema and even possibly Ronaldo…Maybe one day he will eventually be an Arsenal player.
— Karim Benzema (@Benzema) September 7, 2017
Will Benzema join Arsenal in the summer? Who do you think would make a good replacement at Real? Could he play with Lacazette? Share your thoughts below.