Whilst most of the talk on transfers remains focused on any potential incoming striker, Arsenal fans should perhaps turn their attention to the centre back position. We have been linked with a few defenders in the last few days including Manolas, Koulibaly and Benatia. The latter of which needs to have a few questions raised.
Firstly we should talk about quality. There is no doubt that Benatia is a fantastic centre back, one of the best in Europe if you look at his biggest strengths. To put it simply, you don’t play for one of the best clubs in Europe, Bayern Munich, if you aren’t very good. He has the necessary experience, is strong and isn’t afraid to get stuck in. Playing for Bayern, he will have also developed a winning mentality, which he could bring to Arsenal and show true leadership qualities in leading a strong back line.
Secondly Benatia would be available for a very decent price, probably costing just over £10 million. His wages will be high but under Wenger’s apparent new wage structure, £100,000 a week should be no problem. The reason why his price tag is so low however is because of a few concerns that surround the Moroccan international.
Benatia has had a few big injury concerns since moving to Bayern Munich from Roma in 2014. The defender has struggled with injuries a fair bit which has kept him out of the side for long periods of time. This is the last thing we need from a player that would arguably be one of our highest paid players at the Emirates, and someone who was supposed to be one of the best players in defence. Furthermore is his age. Benatia is 29 years old and will be 30 next April. 30 years old of course causes a bit of concern when it comes to Arsenal because as we have seen in the debates about Jamie Vardy, players who approach 30 or are in their 30’s will soon start to lose their form and as a defender in the current game, you need to keep up with the pace.
Wenger may be looking to add another defender to the mix because of Mertesacker losing form, Chambers potentially going out on loan and Gabriel still not fully adapted to the English game.
Would Benatia be a worthwhile investment?