Benzema would be key to Arsenal’s Premier League title hopes


Any player who has had the opportunity to raise a Premier League trophy high above their heads as their supporters chant their names from the stands will tell you that it is no small feat. Not only does a team have to have a solid defence who are willing to put themselves in the line of fire, a creative, yet disciplined midfield who can provide killer balls and protect their defenders all at once and a number of goalscoring threats who make opposing fans hold their breath whenever they receive the ball, they also need good a healthy dose of luck along the way.

It’s a combination Arsenal have sorely missed since they won the title last in 2004. However, slowly but surely, Arsene Wenger has been rebuilding the squad to try and match the success the Gunners had in the early 2000s, and judging by the back-to-back FA cup wins the team secured in the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, it looks like the team is finally on there way to glory.

However, despite Wenger fixing the imbalance in the team by scrapping his normal transfer policy of buying young, cheap players with an abundance of raw talent and purchasing more seasoned players who have proven themselves at the top level already, there’s still something missing.

With the purchases of Gabriel Paulista and Petr Cech in 2015, the Arsenal defence look better than they have in nearly a decade, the competition for places in the midfield is simply staggering yet it’s up front which is leaving something to be desired.

Of course, Alexis Sanchez showed how much of a wonderful player he is in his debut season for the Gunners, bagging 25 goals, plus a number of assists to boot. Sadly for Arsenal fans, Sanchez was really the only forward hitting such lofty heights.

Both Giroud and Walcott were out for large parts of the season and although their contributions to a relatively successful season were certainly appreciated, with Giroud getting a healthy haul of 19 goals last season and Walcott scoring in the FA cup final, the squad still missed a true killer striker up front. Enter Karim Benzema.

Reports from Spain suggest the 27-year-old Frenchman could be on his way out of Real Madrid after six goal-laden seasons, and apparently his next club could be on the red side of North London. And what a purchase Benzema would be for the Gunners. In fact, it’s the type of player fans have been craving for some time now.

At 27, he’s coming into those prime years as a player where he’s at his physical peak and he understands the game fully and is an explosive player who is not only fast but strong too.

His combination of strength and great pace not only allows him to be able to shrug off tackles but burst away from them too, something Giroud is incapable of. Giroud is not a bad player, but he’s not enough. He lacks pace and is so one-footed that if the ball goes onto his right side he’ll try to strike it with his left regardless of how awkward the angle.

To give the Benzema’s France teammate some credit, he has shown improvement each season, but unless he somehow even gained a modicum of speed over the summer he still probably wouldn’t beat a good defender in a foot race.

Walcott’s absence through injury means the jury is still out on whether or not he will become the top striker Arsenal fans prayed he would be. Is it worth the risk putting trust in him when he’s only shown patches of greatness?

While he gave fans a wonderful moment when he scored the winner again Manchester United in the FA cup this year, Danny Welbeck looked wholly unconvincing in his first season as an Arsenal player. Alexis Sanchez could probably be a wonderful striker, but taking him off the wing and not allowing him to use his energy up and down the pitch would be a significant miss.

Benzema offers Arsenal pace, power and precision, all the qualities the Gunners’ forward line needs. Let’s face it, if you can score over 100 goals for Real Madrid, when Cristiano Ronaldo is a goalscoring king and the sole focus is on him, you’re probably a pretty damn good striker.

If Wenger truly wants to break his Premier League curse and prove his numerous critics and doubters wrong he has to sign someone like Benzema, otherwise next season could be more of the same for Arsenal fans. How disappointing would that be?


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One Response

  1. Brad July 9, 2015

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