Arsene Wenger is still in the market for reinforcements in January
What’s the story?
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has been linked with a move to Arsenal, according to a report in British news outlet, The Daily Express, who sourced their report from Spanish news publication Don Balon. The report claims that the Gunners are willing to part with £35 million (€40 million) for the Frenchman, although it will only be as an alternative to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is their top target.
In case you didn’t know…
Benzema came through the ranks at French club Olympique Lyonnaise, before making his debut for the senior side at the age of 17 in January, 2005. After 148 games for the club where he scored 66 goals, Real Madrid came calling, with Los Blancos parting with €35 million for the French striker in 2009.
The heart of the matter
In 9 seasons at Real Madrid, Benzema has featured in 386 games, scoring 185 goals in the process. However, a paltry return of just 5 goals and 3 assists in 21 appearances so far has resulted in plenty of jeers for Benzema, who suffered the ignominy of being booed by the Bernabeu after making his return from injury.
The report claims that Florentino Perez vetoed Zinedine Zidane’s recommendation of keeping Alvaro Morata and selling Karim Benzema in the summer, leaving the Madrid President ‘red-faced’. Olivier Giroud is likely to leave Arsenal, and Benzema would be brought in as a cut-price replacement.
In 2017, Arsene Wenger dismissed rumours of a move for Benzema thus: “Because he is French and maybe there is a bit of noise that he could leave Madrid.”
Don Balon are known for the outlandish rumours they produce on a daily basis, and Karim Benzema being linked with Arsenal is hardly old news.
However, given that the move is a possibility given Madrid’s keenness on selling as well as Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger confirming that they were in the market for reinforcements aside from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, there may be an iota of credibility to this rumour, simply because of how much sense it makes.