Arsenal supporters could be forgiven for thinking this is some kind of déjà vu. The whole sequence of – player being linked – multiple threads of interest – and then finally the denial; this is a sequence that repeats itself across multiple transfer windows. The only difference is that the player being linked is different.
So, when Karim Benzema is linked with a move to the Emirates stadium, there wasn’t much enthusiasm from the ardent supporters. Not that Benzema was not a good player or he could change the team’s fortunes; far from that. The reason for the critics to discount the move was because they feared the same trend to happen.
And their fears are about to take shape as the latest reports from the Spanish club Real Madrid indicate that Benzema may not leave the club. It may be surprising but he is the only recognized striker currently at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The new manager Rafael Benitez was planning to use Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo in a more central role apart from running his usual ‘squad rotation’. This was perceived to be an indication that Benzema could be on his way out.
But now that option seems to be completely out of the window as Benitez hints than any new arrival up front could just provide an alternative to the Frenchman instead of replacing him. And the new coach plans for more goals from Benzema for the season.
“Benzema is a great player. And one of my ideas this year is that he exceeds the barrier of 20-25 goals. In that, I have put a lot of confidence.”
Benzema is an attractive proposition for the Gunners to help them take the next step up. For quite some time, the talk is around the fact that Olivier Giroud becomes invisible during important games.
Ironically, Giroud replaced Benzema in the French national squad and it could be the other way around at the Emirates stadium. Any hopes of that happening in the near future look extinguished now. Truth be told, the story had little substance from the beginning itself. For the sake of the supporters, one hopes that the latest reports put these rumours to rest.