Wednesday, January 10, 2024

GOOD NEWS: Unexpected Karim Benzema Arsenal transfer can be perfect Eddie Nketiah solution for Mikel Arteta

Arsenal are in need of a change in fortune when it comes to the attack. Mikel Arteta’s side remain creative but have seen goalscoring numbers drop drastically and it is threatening to derail their season.

It is no surprise that the Gunners are being continually linked with moves for new strikers to try and solve this but the manager himself is not so sure anything is forthcoming. “At the moment, it does not look realistic,” he said after the defeat to Liverpool on Sunday.

“What my job is, and what we have to do is improve our players and try to get better results with the players we have.” However, with major underperformance in front of goal the club are not going to give up without a fight this window.

Karim Benzema shock

The 2022 Ballon d’Or winner and current Al-Ittihad ace has been linked with a stunning return to Europe this month after Patrice Evra called for Manchester United to take advantage of reports from Saudi Arabia claiming that he is unhappy. The Frenchman is said to have missed training on consecutive days now and has sparked a wave of transfer frenzy.

Benzema only arrived in the Middle East over the summer after his contract at Real Madrid ended and he has had a decent enough time of things, scoring nine times with five assists for Al-Ittihad in 15 league games. He was impressive at the Club World Cup too and is a regular in the side.

However, his ambition is hardly being matched with the side sitting seventh in the table halfway through the season. Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr and miles off at the top of the league and Benzema’s Saudi dream isn’t looking so rosy anymore. says: Is there a less Arteta-y player in the world? Benzema won’t press, he might not prove to be massively popular, he would take the mantle as the highest earner in the squad and he’s 36. However, what he has in abundance is the ability to score goals and that is what Arsenal are missing.

The issue for Arsenal is that a lot of their good play comes because of the profile of their forwards and the off-ball movement when in possession as well as clever pressing out of it. Put Benzema in Kai Havertz’s shoes come the final situation in front of goal and sure he scores loads but there’s no guarantee that he actually gets into the same positions.

In terms of a short-term deal, it could be perfect. Benzema has Champions League knockout experience, not something that Arteta or most of his squad can boast, and would undoubtedly give some sort of edge. The issue is that it kicks the can down the road.

Arsenal need an improvement in finishing now to turn things around and if Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli can even elevate their form in front of goal a little bit then things will look much better pretty quickly. If they don’t then a magic bullet for half a season might not be the worst idea.

Eddie Nketiah stance

Well if Benzema is coming in – he probably isn’t – then Arsenal will need to sell. It’s not just a Benzema thing either. If Arsenal are to sign a new striker worth any money at all then players will have to go.

The Gunners have spent big in recent years without any true notable sales, which becomes an issue with financial regulations in play and the genuine threat of being punished for breaking them. Not that Arsenal are exactly on the verge but to think they can splash over £80million on an Ivan Toney or Victor Osimhen in the next few weeks or months is just unrealistic.

One man who would surely pay for that is Nketiah. As a 24-year-old Premier League proven forward he would command a decent enough price and heading into the summer there’s every reason to think that Emile Smith Rowe may well follow him. Crystal Palace are already known admirers and in the current landscape, it’d be a surprise if there weren’t many more. says: The decision to allow Folarin Balogun to leave looks a poorly judged one when Kai Havertz has been the effective replacement for him in the squad. That it was put to be Nketiah vs Balogun is really quite unfair considering both of them have better goalscoring credentials than the German. He was signed to be a midfielder but that was never going to last, the whole thing has been very misjudged.

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