One of the most sensational transfer stories of the summer so far began to develop yesterday afternoon, with reports from Spain believing Real Madrid have agreed a deal for Kylian Mbappe.
The 18-year-old Monaco sensation is arguably the world’s hottest young prospect and Marca understand that an agreement in the region of €180million (£160million) is in place for a move.
But with one striker seemingly on his way to the Bernabeu, Spanish outlet Diario Gol have now suggested that current forward Karim Benzema could be on his way out this summer – with Arsenal tracking him.
Does the Frenchman have something to offer Arsenal?
With recent speculation over Alexis Sanchez’s future leaving the Chilean’s future in the balance heading into August and with the Independent claiming, just yesterday, that he is willing to take a wage cut to force a move to Manchester City, there may be a need for new personnel at the Emirates fairly soon.
In the shape of Karim Benzema there aren’t many players in global football that have the experience at the highest level that he has, winning everything there is to win with Real Madrid.
Two La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey’s and three Champions League titles – plus four Ligue 1 titles from his time with his native club Lyon – details an impressive repertoire that nobody at Arsenal can really match.
And there’s little doubt that the 29-year-old has the innate quality needed to be successful in the Premier League, being a silky, skilful player on the ball and having a potent ability around the box.
His inclination to drop deep and influence play from a number ten role has also been the architype of his successful career, linking up with the midfielders and then having the vision to find the wide runners or muscle his own route into the area; add his creativity into his play and he’s well-rounded.
Nobody scores 180 Real Madrid goals in 365 appearances without having a little something about them, and Benzema is the type of player that will always find a way to score no matter where he is.
The only issue is that, at 29 years of age, there is a lingering worry that Benzema’s best days are well and truly behind him after a difficult few seasons at the Bernabeu, in which he has been struggling to find his peak form.
With the Gunners only just acquiring a number nine in Alexandre Lacazette it’s also unlikely that Arsene Wenger would delve back into the market for another out-and-out forward – even if Sanchez does leave – and it would be hard to justify Benzema’s €70million (£62million) price tag if he is merely a substitute.