Every football fan knows that Real Madrid base their entire attacking philosophy centred around one man: Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese is dubbed by some as the best player in the world, as the ongoing debate of ‘Messi vs Ronaldo’ continues to this day. Ronaldo has scored a staggering 225 goals in 200 games for Madrid since joining from Manchester United in 2009, and shows no sign of slowing down having now reached the ripe age of 30 years old. In the last two seasons, Madrid have used the trio of Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale to spear head their attack, usually in a 4-3-3 formation. Even though 27-year-old Benzema plays the furthest forward, he is under instructions to get the best out of Ronaldo and the Portuguese is more often than not the man who finds the back of the net for Madrid. Frenchman Benzema is far too talented of a player to be a second fiddle to any other man in an attacking formation, and his years of living in Ronaldo’s shadow at Madrid could be coming to an end. It would be no surprise if he seeks a move away from The Bernabeu this summer in order to join a team that will have an attack centred around himself. Benzema could find suitable fitters in north London outfit Arsenal. Arsene Wenger is said to be looking for a centre forward, with the team sometimes becoming too reliant on Frenchman Olivier Giroud for goals. Wenger has splashed the cash over the last two summers, with Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez joining him at The Emirates. He could be once again tempted to open the chequebook if Karim Benzema were to become available.
Arsenal play some of the most attractive football in Europe – their possession keeping philosophy is a joy to watch when their training ground moves are executed to perfection. They are however – excuse the old cliche – sometimes guilty of trying to ‘pass it in’. When Arsenal’s strikers do not have their scoring boots on, they do struggle for goals even though they create a bucket full of chances most games. Olivier Giroud is more often than not capable of finishing off Arsenal’s moves by slotting the ball into the back of the net, however, some fans do have their doubts about whether he cuts it at the very highest level. There have been a handful of big games for Arsenal where the Frenchman has, to be frank, disappeared. Arsenal have looked to him to step up to the plate on numerous occasions, and he has left fans disappointed. Benzema is head and shoulders above Giroud in terms of ability. Benzema is always preferred over Giroud in the French national side, and with good reason too. Benzema is a better finisher, and causes defenders far more problems in a game than his French compatriot. Arsenal are blessed with an array of incredibly talented midfielders, who must be most striker’s dream to be playing in front of. The likes of Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all have Wenger’s philosophy drilled into them, and are excellent at executing his game plan. With silky passing, slick movement and elusive running, Arsenal’s midfield maestro’s are experts when it comes to creating chances in front of goal. Benzema could be the perfect man who can be on the end of these passes and send the ball flying into the back of the net with every chance he gets. The thought of Benzema playing in front of Arsenal’s technically excellent midfield is a mouthwatering combination.
One of the biggest and most influential factors for Benzema to make the move to north London would be the manager Wenger. An incredibly intelligent man, Wenger can speak fluent English, Italian, German, Spanish and a small amount of Japanese. He famously convinced Ozil to join Arsenal by personally calling him and having an entire conversation in German. Wenger’s man management is second to none, and those that have worked under him cannot praise him enough for his ability to get the best out of players. A fellow Frenchman, Benzema could be tempted to link up with Wenger at The Emirates in order to work with the long serving Premier League veteran, who knows the league inside out. Benzema need only look at the example of Henry, who joined Arsenal in 1999 and went on to make 254 appearances for Arsenal, scoring 174 goals. Henry has gone down in history as one of the best strikers to ever grace the Premier League, and the Gunners legend himself maintains that a large part of this was down to his relationship with Arsene Wenger. There would be no reason why Benzema cannot write himself into the Arsenal history books if he were to join and make an instant goal scoring impact. Should Benzema decide to leave The Bernabeu for pastures new this summer, then Arsenal should be a serious consideration for the 27-year-old. He would be in good hands with Wenger and his team at Arsenal, and he would no doubt enjoy working with a fellow Frenchman.
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