Well, Arsène Wenger doesn’t seem to be very busy these days; a non-newsflash which could easily create anxiety and worry but instead of sending me straight to a complete meltdown, actually does generate some anticipation and expectation – which are totally unjustified.
When I see the man avoiding questions about transfers or drop enigmatic replies, I can’t help thinking he’s working on something big. I spent some time thinking about who the superstar target could be and finally decided that he has to be Karim Benzema.
The way Arsène Wenger replied to a direct question while in Singapore was just great:
AT THE MOMENT, the transfer is not happening.
That implies the deal could happen at some point, perhaps close to the deadline when Clubs like Real Madrid are desperate to sell any player not in their plans, to cut some wages from their books.
They did with Mesut Özil, suddenly surplus to requirements (fools!) in Madrid because they signed Isco and Bale and also with Di Maria as they signed James Rodriguez, so why would Arsène Wenger be in a hurry and force a deal as early as July?
Signals sent by Real Madrid a quite clear: Cristiano Ronaldo will play centrally, with Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez and Isco playing around him. Setup like that, Real Madrid wouldn’t really need Karim Benzema and the guy surely wouldn’t be happy to sit on the bench during the season ending with Euro 2016 in France; a transfer looks definitely on the cards, to me.
Moreover, reports suggest Real Madrid are chasing Marco Reus, a wide player whose arrival would confirm the theory of an offensive set-up built to have Cristiano Ronaldo as its focal point. Of course Rafa Benitez cannot drop any hint about the player being out of favour, but Karim Benzema is not as important as he used to be in Madrid.
Sure, Arsène Wenger is not the only manager interested in acquiring the talents of Karim Benzema but what Clubs look more attractive than the Arsenal, these days? Add to this the fact that player and manager are acquainted and known to admire each other.
We are rich, we are packed with quality players at their peak, we play beautiful football and we are starting to collect silverware – which player could possibly resist it?
In Karim Benzema, the Arsenal would have an all-round striker able to run behind defenders and dictate passes to Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Özil; unfortunately Olivier Giroud cannot do that, while Theo Walcott master that art but is way too light to be a lone striker – so Karim Benzema could be the ideal forward for our team.
Not mentioning the fact that Karim Benzema would be reunited with Mesut Özil, possibly the playmaker who knows his movements and preferences on the pitch best, and would train under Arsène Wenger, a manager known for getting the best out of strikers at his disposal.
…and shirt #9 is still vacant at the Arsenal, with Olivier Giroud confirming he’ll keep his current squad number!
Silly rumors apart, this deal could be beneficial for everyone and that’s the platform for any deal to happen: seller wants to sell, buyer wants to buy and the player wants to move.
Transfers are a delicate matter, even when everyone agrees on how and when a deal should be closed, you must avoid showing your cards too early or you will pay for that: if Arsène Wenger shows excessive willingness to buy the player, the price would go up; if Real Madrid confirm that Karim Benzema is no longer wanted at the Club, the price will go down.
It’s a long, somehow pathetic waiting game in which everyone already knows what will happen.
My advice, fellow Gooners, would be to enjoy the sunshine and come back right in time for deadline day; shall we sign Karim Benzema, or any other star player, the deal will happen at the very last minute of the very last day.
While waiting, you can laugh at José Mourinho flushing another £ 18m down the loo by loaning Filipe Luís back to Atletico Madrid; the already long list of players who got ruined by working with the Portuguese keeps growing!
It’s funny how none mentions the insane amount of money wasted by the Special One, isn’t it?
Andriy Shevchenko, Hernán Crespo, Fernando Torres, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Mateja Kezman, Juan Cuadrado, Mohamed Salah, Nuri Sahin (Real Madrid), Ricardo Quaresma (Inter) and now Filipe Luís!
I do believe we’ll get a very nice surprise by the end of August and I don’t mind being patient.
Being patient brought us Mesut Özil two summers ago, it’s worth waiting.