I’m sure we have all seen the headlines so far after Arsene Wenger’s comments about Karim Benzema, just like his comments about Eden Hazard earlier on this season. They are headline makers for sure – but real options in the transfer market? I would love to see the day when he could make those comments and back them up with action.
Arsenal are definitely in the market for a striker, we need a goalscoring alternative to Robin van Persie, we have a decent player in Chamakh but I really doubt his ability to knock in 20-25 goals a season, Benzema has the ability to do this and at 23 he still has time to improve too.
Looking at the situation Benzema is in there is definitely scope for a deal to be done. With Aguero and Tevez seemingly heading for Madrid (lots of noise suggesting the latter), Benzema will be one of the players that will need to be shifted out and this means that regarding price, the ball could be in Arsenal’s court. However, we would have to considerably surpass our record transfer. That said, we have never been in a better financial position to do so.
Commercially a signing of this magnitude would be a boost, shirt sales with his name on would rocket and it would be a big signal of intent. It is funny that when I mention a ‘signal of intent’ a lot of people tend to think I mean splashing the cash – that isn’t the case at all. We need to bring in some renowned quality to boost the squad and appease fans, these days I don’t think you can get upcoming players from obscure leagues at the cut prices that were possible a couple of years ago. The coverage is much more extensive and as soon as a talented player is recognised they hyped up in this Football Manager generation.
I feel Arsenal need to spend some considerable cash this summer, the majority of this can be made back through player sales and savings on wages – some of which are surprising given the place of certain players in the squad. Trim it down, get rid of the deadwood and hell, we could even break even if Fabregas or Nasri up sticks and leave.
On the case of Nasri – I think we are being taken for a ride now. I was 100% assured that everything was in place to be signed, everyone was happy. If his agent wants to dick us about then lets threaten to transfer list him, try to steal back a bit of the initiative. He is a marvelous player but one we can replace. If he doesn’t want to be here he can go, nobody is bigger than Arsenal Football Club.
With the membership and season ticket renewal period starting to draw to a close a cynic may believe that these are the headlines that Arsenal want. I do hope that is not the case. We need to see intent and ambition. Over to you, Arsene.