Going into the summer, Wenger prioritised the acquisition of a striker to bolster the Gunners’ forward line. He has been linked with a move for Jovetic but it seems the deal is dead in water while the media have been more committal on Higuain joining Arsenal, reporting personal terms agreed, fee settled and medicals in the
pipeline but still no sight of him. It seems if there is any truth in Arsenal moving for Higuain, it is a distance from conclusion.
The Gunners have also been linked with Manchester United’s want-away striker Wayne Rooney but they face huge task convincing Manchester United to sell and the English forward’s wages remain a huge mountain to climb.
When the preferred aren’t available, the available becomes the preferred. It is obvious Arsenal are keen on a statement signing, hence the interest in Rooney, Higuain and Suarez but in the absence of those marquee forwards, we can make do with someone that can keep the job done and he is none other than Aston-Villa’s Belgian
forward Cristian Benteke. He was linked with a move to the Emirates earlier in the summer but Aston-Villa came out fighting, claiming he wasn’t for sale at any price but the former Genk man has busted their bubble by submitting a transfer request. Though sadly, Aston Villa have resigned themselves to the eventuality of his imminent departure with the club saying they are willing to sell should their valuation be matched. I wonder what his valuation would be, considering the fact that he was bought for less than 8 million Pounds just last summer. I believe a bid of 16 million Pounds will be too good to refuse for Lambert and company.
Now that he has demanded a transfer, his suitors won’t be few but I believe Arsenal stand a good chance if they are really interested. Tottenham, Liverppol and Chelsea are likely to rival Arsenal for his signature but they all have issues that might scuttle the move. Tottenham have Adebayor to battle. It is obvious AVB doesn’t rate
the Togolese forward but the greedy striker won’t be forced out. The only way Tottenham can get rid of him is if they can get a club to match or better his current wages. If he moved for more money when he was much younger, I don’t see him taking a pay cut when he is much older. He holds the ace in the contract since he still has a long term contract with them. To stand a chance of getting Benteke, Adebayor must go but it is easier said than done. Ask Manchester City.
Liverpool are also interested but their lack of European football is a huge minus. They have already acquired Aspas from Celta Vigo. A move for Benteke now, means one thing, they are ready to sell Suarez and that might hinder them from squeezing enough cash from suitors.
That leaves Chelsea. The Blues are in the market for a striker but they are out for a marquee one, hence, their pursuit of Falcao and Cavani. In their current team, they already have strikers that are in Benteke’s grade; Torres, Ba and Lukaku. Hence, no need for Benteke.
Should Arsenal decide to opt for him, he would cost lesser than the strikers Wenger is chasing in transfer fees and wages. He is younger, has Premier league experience, an advantage he holds over Higuain. His style of play will suit the Gunners, he has physical presence that will come in handy in Wenger’s 4-3-3 formation. He can play as a lone forward, strong aerially, uses both legs unlike Giroud who is left-footed. He also has a fierce shot. Of course, he won’t walk straight into the team but should he prove himself, he can upstage Giroud to earn a starting berth.
Should Wenger decide to tinker his formation, both him and Giroud can play through the center as main and auxiliary striker. I can bet they will be handful for defences owing to their physical strength and all action display. There is no excuse for Wenger if he fails to get us a new striker. Good strikers are available and
Benteke is one.