Arsenal are a long way from signing Karim Benzema, but I wanted to pose the question – is the Frenchman enough to win the Gunners a Premier League title?
Arsenal are often tipped by pundits as too short of quality to win a title. The reasons they normally give are a lack of world class players, a lack of leaders and a lack of resilience. On the face of it, signing Benzema may well address two of those three ‘problems’.
The third, could well have already be dealt with. Arsenal’s ‘lack of resilience’ is a reason for failure that I no longer accept, Arsene Wenger’s stubborn tactics were shelved on many occasions last season. Our ‘resilient’ performance against Manchester City is the perfect example of how our team and tactics have evolved.
At 27, Benzema would come to Arsenal in his prime and with a wealth of club and international experience at the very highest level. He’s a leader in that he commands respect, on and off the pitch.
I’ve always seen Benzema as Wenger’s perfect striker. He’s a very selfless forward – one who can still finish clinically when it matters. He would combine incredibly well with our midfield, assist others as well as scoring plenty. He’s no doubt a world class player and there aren’t many better strikers.
Many point to the fact that the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale help lift Benzema’s performance levels and statistics. Whilst I acknowledge that theory, I think Benzema would perform even better at a club like Arsenal.
He’d be the focal point of our attack, an ever present in the team and someone who players and fans expect to score. He wouldn’t share the limelight as much as he does in Madrid, I think he’d thrive as our main man.
Are more goals what Arsenal need?
Some will argue that goals are not the answer for Arsenal. The Gunners netted 71 times, the third highest in the league and just 2 less than Champions Chelsea. That’s a fact – but it’s also a fact that we only conceded four more than Chelsea. It’s small margins and it’s the games you win 1-0 or 2-1 that win you the title. Benzema is a man capable of making that difference in those tight games.
At the moment Arsenal’s goals come from all over the place, Alexis Sanchez – a winger for most of the season was the clubs highest goalscorer. New striker Danny Welbeck managed just four Premier League goals and whilst Olivier Giroud notched up a respectable 14 in 27 appearances, there’s an appreciation from the Arsenal fans and neutrals that the Frenchman alone is not enough firepower for the Gunners to seriously contend with the likes of Chelsea.
When Arsenal had Robin van Persie in the team and the score was 1-1 towards the end of the game, you almost expected the Dutchman to score the winner – I think Benzema would have a similar effect.
If a player like Benzema does become available this summer, Wenger must do everything in his power to complete the deal. It’s a no brainer – he can win Arsenal the Premier League.