It just hasn’t worked out for Medhi Benatia at Bayern Munich and we had a scouting report fron Germany on him earlier in the week.
The 29-year-old arrived at the Allianz Arena from Roma for an estimated fee of £22 million but he has struggled to adjust to life in Germany. Benatia is a supreme talent and he was one of the top central defenders during his time in Serie A – a division famous for its intense and high-quality defending.
If Benatia can regain the kind of form shown during his Roma days, he would certainly slot in alongside Laurent Koscielny at the heart of Arsenal’s defence. Unfortunately, this would leave Per Mertesacker on the substitute’s bench.
The Real Benatia when at Roma uninjured
Now, we all love Mertesacker but he just isn’t fit to lead the Gunners on a weekly basis. The Germany international has been a great servant to the club since arriving at the Emirates Stadium in 2011 but he simply hasn’t been at his best for the last nine months.
If truth be told, Mertesacker’s leadership skills and experience are now his greatest assets and he may be much more effective on the training ground and in the dressing room. After all, the German commands respect from his team-mates and Arsenal’s younger stars will benefit from his guidance and advice.
Benatia isn’t a long-term fix but he would certainly help to shore up Arsenal’s gaping backline for at least the next three or four years. That way, the Gunners can focus on raising one of their talented youth prospects and moulding them into a potential star for the future.
Benatia at Bayern
One of the main worries over Benatia is his injury record. The Bayern man has struggled with various knocks and niggles over the last few years and if there’s one thing that Arsenal don’t need, it’s injury-prone players. If Benatia is to succeed at the Emirates, he cannot be suspect to picking up injuries on a regular basis – it will hinder his chances of making a major impact in the Premier League.
In fact, the club could decide to put Benatia through an extremely vigorous medical examination before discussing personal terms. Then, and only then, will the Gunners be confident of his health and fitness ahead of what could be a defining season for the club.
If Wenger gets his transfer activity right, Arsenal may go on to lift the Premier League title next season – something we haven’t managed to do since ‘The Invincibles’ in 2004. As of May 25th, the Gunners are priced at 11/2 to win the crown in the football odds. And with Benatia commanding the defensive area, Arsenal will certainly stand a great chance.
The Bayern star has the skills to succeed and the Bavarians will be willing to consider letting Benatia go. It’s now down to Arsene Wenger and Arsenal’s transfer committee to decide whether the 29-year-old is the right man to lead the Gunners to the Premier League title and if he has enough nous and intelligence to replace Mertesacker at the heart of the defence.