Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Wenger plays down Benzema link

Arsene Wenger has quashed suggestions Arsenal are trying to sign Karim Benzema from Real Madrid.

Speculation on the back page of The Sun claims the France international, long linked with a move to the Emirates, is the subject of a £40 million bid by the Gunners.

Speaking in Singapore at a press conference ahead of tomorrow’s Asia Trophy final showdown with Everton, the boss said:

“I don’t know where that story comes from but that’s not happening at the moment.”

We’ll leave it to you to determine what ‘at the moment’ means…

Benzema, 27, moved to the Santiago Bernabeu six years ago from Lyon in a deal worth £24.5 million and has since scored 134 goals in 281 appearances.

He’s certainly a player at the top end of the market, all the more so given he penned a new five-year deal last summer after helping Real to their tenth Champions League success.


Extra quotes from the boss have dropped on the issue of transfers…

“[The title] is our target and we feel we have a chance in a very competitive league. We are not far [away].

“I am happy with the squad we have. If I find an exceptional player to strengthen, I will do it.

“It depends what’s on the market. It is not easy, there are a lot of teams out there in Europe competing for the same player. We don’t rule it out and (also) don’t guarantee we sign.”

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Naman Mehra

I like Benzema and he will give Giroud competition.

But both would be needed to help us win the league or challenge for UCL. I hope people don’t use him to downplay Giroud’s contribution at the club and use it as vindication for ‘WC player’

Major positive would be depth, though this deal is far from done as of now.


Hooray, we can put that rumour to bed. I hate all the transfer speculation b*ll*cks.

Let’s get Higuain instead!!!

Third Plebeian

I think one of the funniest transfer stories so far this summer is the one where the Napoli president keeps announcing Higuain’s absurd release clause, as if Arsenal (or any club for that matter) would pay over £60m for him.


Agreed, he was rubbish at the Copa, so never going to happen. Sounds like Napoli are keen to get rid too.


CB your s/f is not working! I laughed 35 td’s didn’t! 🙂


Thanks, I thought it was outrageously contradictory enough to be obviously a joke. Especially as Higuain is pants.

Next time…


Err…Higuain isn’t pants mate. Not worth 60 million but definitely not pants


Can’t see this happening.

Personally I don’t think he’s any better than Giroud.


Finishing might not be much different but Benzema strikes me as a more mobile player overall, while also able to play a hold-up role if required.

At the same time, AW probably sees Welbeck as a pacey forward like Benzema who just needs to work on his finishing.

I do think signing Benz would be more a statement of intent than anything else – but likely to push TW out the door if it happens.

kos the boss

Benzema is in a different class. He is way more skilled than Giroud, whom I really like but can’t be compared with someone on Benzema’s level There is a reason he has been Real’s first choice striker for so many years now. Would be a great signing.


Last season we got 71 goals to Chelsea’s 73 and City’s 83. On goals we aren’t far behind. Plus we have Wilshere coming into form and also Walcott. We will concede lesser I’m sure because of Cech and the Coq and the others. The first thing that comes to my mind when talking about Giroud is that he’s not one of the top strikers in the world like Costa, Aguero, Suarez etc but I don’t think he needs to be because our team has a lot of goal scorers and he assists a lot too. I think the coming season… Read more »


It’s simple, check their stats. Last season Benzema scored 22 goals and had 15 assists in 3.640 minutes, while Giroud had 19 goals and 4 assists in 2376 minutes. The season before they both played slightly more than 4000 minutes, benzema scored 24 goals and made 16 assists while Giroud scored 22 and had 12 assists. And don’t forget that Benzema playes in la liga, where scoring goals is a bit easier than in the EPL. It seems to me that the only area where Benzema truly outshines Giroud is in making assists and bringing others into play. If you… Read more »


Yeah but look at his hair ffs!


I wonder if this transfer may have to wait until Benny Boy grows a suitable “Barnet”??


This is often why foreign players take a little time to “bed in” due to unsuitable hair when they arrive.
The case in point is Alexis, brilliant “Barnet” from day one!


Well benzema has to supply to a certain cr7 and recently bale. You put benz in our team and he’ll score a lot more.


Madrid are weird, granted, but why would they be interested in selling him now? Who is the shiny new toy they could replace him with?




Haven’t a clue who their new toy will be, but it’s been rumoured for a while that Benzema isn’t much loved by Real, and Wenger has always been an admirer (as well as having recently acquired a taste for top-club discards). Trouble is, Benzema won’t even consider moving until he knows which way the wind’s blowing – by which time it will be too late for this window. I would like him. I think he’s more consistent as well as more mobile than Giroud. He’s exactly the kind of striker who’d fit well with both Sanchez and Oezil, but so… Read more »



Third Plebeian

Not sure there’s a ‘replacement’. The rumor is that Benitez wants to move Ronaldo centrally, and that Benzema doesn’t want to be a benchwarmer.


Am I reading too much into the ‘at the moment bit’?

Cliff Bastin

It’d be funny if we got Benzema and Real used the funds to buy Aguero.


We only really need game changers to add to the squad really not brand names. Ozil, Sanchez, Cech are game changers and we were willing to pay premium for them. But to throw good money at every so called the next it with a trillion euro buyout clause because the metro thinks we should, well thats what wee little clubs like the scousers and spuds do. And look where its gotten them. You can’t buy class so stay classy Gunners.


He’s been Madrid’s first choice CF for years. He’s quite good at football. He’s not just some random hype.



I’m a big fan of Giroud and don’t think signing Benzema would be the end of his Arsenal career, but he’s got a brilliant skillset. Good strength, great feet, a healthy knack of being in the right place and plenty of headed goals too.

Take him out of the Ronaldo-show, put him back in touch with Ozil and give him the proper service and he could easily score 30+ goals a year.



Would love for us to sign Benzema, I think he’s a great player who is overshadowed by the Ronaldo-show. I just feel he would be putting the chances away that Giroud misses. Don’t get me wrong Giroud is seriously under rated, he brings so much to this team and definitely has a huge part to play this season.


You two have got me all excited about Benzema!

David Seaman's Ponytail



Is he exceptional though? Is he a game changer?
I have no doubt he is a great player but when Wenger says to pay that kind of money they have to be special he means exactly that. Is he Suarez special?
Plus if he is that valuable then why would Real Madrid sell him even at that price?

Third Plebeian

The better question is whether he’s an upgrade on what we have, and I think the answer is yes, and if that’s the case, we should always be looking to improve. The question about being a game-changer, I don’t know what you mean. Does he scores lots of goals that result in Madrid winning games? Yes. Is he as good as Messi? No. Is he as good as Suarez? Debatable. But I don’t think there are any players like Messi or Suarez currently on the market, in which case we look both at what we can pay and who is… Read more »


Why would Real sell Ozil? Di Maria? Aside from their crazy vanity purchases nobody knows why they do anything.

Game changer and world class are those mushy terms people use when they want a slippery definition they can adjust to suit their own needs.

By my definition any player that when inserted into the game changes the way the team plays is a game changer. If Giroud doesn’t start he actually is that, as proven last season.

Kenyan Gooner

With the kind of pressing game the team is playing now, Benzema’s speed would be an huge asset.


Benzema to PSG. Cavani to Arsenal. That would make a lot of sens.


Unlike your post.

two bullets in the chamber

If his post doesn’t make sense then him saying it makes sense doesn’t make sense but you said his post doesn’t make sense so him not making sense is not making sense so he does make sense and we do back to where we begin. It’s the liar’s paradox.


..that doesn’t make sense. 😉


Or does it? 🙂


Why would ‘him saying it’ suddenly make it make sense? Illogical leap.


Didn’t Wenger say almost the same thing about Welbeck?


He’d be welcome competition but I think 40m is ludicrous. He’s not that good.

I can’t see it happening at all.


He is currently the best and proven striker on the Market. Better then Cavani and whom ever else


Not really. Cavani when he gets his run of games as a striker is incredible. When he was at Napoli, he scored 104 goals in 138 games! It wasn’t luck, he was getting better every season! And this was in Italy, mind you, very well known for it’s defensive nature and a higher difficulty of scoring goals. Then he went to PSG, where he plays mainly on the wings, central when Ibra is injured and sometimes in a 4-4-2 but mainly on the wings. And he has 56 goals in 96 games! Better ratio than Benzema at Madrid, and that… Read more »

Springbank 1962

If he’s the difference between winning the title and not then he is worth it. Remember, we’re no longer short of spending power. This transfer window we can easily afford £40M if that’s what it takes. Benzema occupies the same tier of proven goalscorer as Higuain, Lewandowski, and Costa. Messi will never be available, we can’t afford C Ronaldo, and Ibrahimovich will always want his own monogrammed gold-plated porta-loo serviced by faerie hedgehogs. Look at it this way – we lose Sanogo to Ajax for a year and we get Benzema as his replacement. The £40M is just a creative… Read more »


You get my thumbs up for the Ibrahimovic comment


If Sterling is worth £49m, then Madrid’s first choice has to be worth £40m


Let’s not mention to Real how much Sterling went for just yet.


I like Giroud, but I am more concerned about how much Welbeck will develop. All the tools, he now needs to put them together. Whilst he didn’t score many last season, if you go back and watch, before Christmas, he was influential in many of the goals Sanchez scored. Real shame his preseason is being hampered by injury.


Completely agree. On paper, Welbeck has all the attributes, it’s just the goals that need to start flowing. Let’s not also forget that there’s Walcott’s contract to consider as well. If we do sign a big name CF, is he going to sign it and be behind the new CF and Giroud in the pecking order for that position? Probably not. Personally, I like the versatility of our forward line as it is and we’ve got a lot of players who can score goals from midfield. Also, imagine is Giroud played for Real? Would his scoring record in that team… Read more »

Thierry Bergkamp

I wouldn’t say no. Plus we’d get the best out of Ozil with a striker like him

solomon Peters

At the * moment * simply means they are either waiting for Real to give go ahead to bid for him or Wenger wants to be sure there’s real need for him to come in. Surely, Benzema is one of the players they’re considering.


134 goals in 281 games?

Seems a bit low, considering their stellar midfield talent over the years, plus the weakness of the league.

Rectum Spectrum

he’s scored 20+ goals every season apart from his maiden one at madrid.

that’s extremely high standards.


He has different style to giroud but he isnt that much better , goalscoring is slighty better than OG. no idea why people are hyping him so much except because he play for Real , His scoring record for france is little bit better than giroud too . i ll bet most his assist go to ronaldo, if we have someone like ronaldo scoring 60 goal a season OG would have 24+assist too to be fair Real dont need a great goalscorer until now when you have Ronaldo, but with barca having the trio Suarez/messi/Neymar in front maybe they will… Read more »


Giroud is no whereclose to being as creative as benz. He would struggle to create goals in Madrid.

Dan Hunter

Hope you are being tongue in cheek

Edu's Braces

He’s only gotten past 20 league goals once which in that team isn’t the best so I think his point stands. (Obviously judging him on the standards of a £40m player but then if Benteke is going for £32m then who knows).

Gun Jammer

That’s almost a goal every 2 games, not to mention most center forwards get to take pks and we all know cr7 doesn’t share that role.. our midfield has been our best area for a while now.. I’m pretty sure they’ve been setting our strikers up with sitters that they waste, while a true finisher could make all the difference and we want to be cheap?!?


Unfair considering most of the goals in that team are fed to Cristiano Ronaldo. It’s decent stats.


Aye, we’ve all seen that Ronaldo throws the toys out if you take a tap in rather than feeding him a near-impossible pass for a difficult low-angle chance.

like a red head Ljungberg

ppl here seem to forget his “bate” role for madrid, he makes space exceptionally for the likes of ronaldo, he has speed skill a nose for opportunities two killer feet and i cant remember him missing decent chances, and most importantly he has that spacial thing, he’s intelligent and creative enough to pull things off out of nowheres. all said he’s no doubt an upgrade to what we’ve got here, with a good margin.

AN other

Benzema stats, for a striker who played all attacking real, is not so good. Only 20 goals in 50 odd games is not good enough to propel him in PL. Higuain, on the other hand, goal scoring stats for both Madird and Napoli are nothing less than amazing.

Arsenal should rather pursuing Higuain then Benzema.

Gun Jammer

Did you see gonzalo in the copa america?? He can score but benzema clearly does more for the team.. I think if he was the main focus he’d score more goals

Gun Jammer

Yeah welbeck has pace, but his finishing ability and touch are nowhere near benzemas. While giroud has his qualities, karim would’ve probably doubled his goal output


Giroud would have doubled his goal output if he wasn’t injured for half the season.


lacazette Is Our new number 9 arsblog had already welcomed him and based on my FIFA15 experience he is a beast and as you know Everyone on here bases there knowledge on Fifa and football manager … Surely wenger is aware of that scouting via video games is the way forward !


If we’re going off Fifa15, we want to jump on Clinton N’Jie. Super quick and much better than his initial 63 rating.

Freddie Ljungberg's Hair Stylist

What the man says is true, ive signed both Benzema and Lacazette in the name of science and Arsenal FC transfer research. Both are beasts on Fifa 15, costing £40m and £30m, respectivel, and managed to get them to 25 goals a season. Lacazette has more growth though…


So THAT’s where the Sun got the 40m number from.


Benzema doesn’t score enough, huguain is fat do the only alternative is BRING BACK BENDTNER

Arsenal's Legend

Wenger will still surprise the press with an unsuspected marquee signing.

But seriously what does “moment” mean to Wenger

Shere Willpower

Any interests for LACAZETTE ?

Dan Hunter

Play fluid front three. Get Griezmann. £40mill. Boooooom. The guy scores goals for joke. He is a Wenger type player if there ever was one.

Gun Jammer

Not for cf, we have wingers already with the ability to score more goals than him.. no need to get him, we need something different. Something we don’t have at the moment

Dan Hunter

Griezmann Walcott Sanchez
Coq Cazorla
Monreal Koscielny Mertesacker Bellerin

Booooom better than SSS at Liverpool any day. 100 goals right there


writting boooooooooooooom every comment doent make them any better

Dan Hunter



walcott is a goalscorer. even when he plays on the wing, let’s face it, only thing he does well is score goals. Alexis is more complete, and plays well on the wing. ox also plays well there, but his future is being touted in midfeld. we have players who can play on the wing, but hardly any genuine wingers.


We missed a trick with Griezmann. Very explosive player.

Shere Willpower

Giroud is our benzema.. But lacazette can be a striker with different dimensions. He is an upgraded Walcott.. Who can hold the ball better and can be creative too.


The Sun!

First it was Özil wanted to sort out his future with AW, then it was Jack who was going to do the same thing, and now it is we are going to buy Benzema. The chase for clicks gathers momentum.

I reckon we are going to buy Götze from Bayern and AW will turn him into a fox in the box – wait for the headline at the weekend. LOL!


The Sun headline would be: Götcha!






I’m not cumming….at the moment!


But buying Benzema would ‘kill’ Sanogo….heh.


In guessing he means that if Real sign a striker then he may go for him. He always says the market is like a domino effect and would maybe make the move the way he did with Ozil and Sanchez.

Al Gilmore

My feeling is that we would take him IF he becomes available and there isn’t a bidding war. This is why we haven’t bid for him now as all that would do is start an auction. So we’ll let the Madrid politics play itself out and see what happens. At the moment he is not ‘available’.

I like him but as someone said 40 mill is right at the top end of what he’s worth even if the new TV deal is setting a new bar level for spending for English clubs.

50 Shades of Gandalf the Grey

Did he give that cheeky smile he gave when he said he has a surprise for us and bought ozil?


Benzema….who got the keys for my beamer?


In a rush! Pass me the keys to (Mourinho’s) bus

Eddie McGoldrick

It’s a toughie.. Giroud is very very good but Benzema is better. Welbeck was a good player for us last year and definitely has the potential to be very very good as well but he didn’t convince at all as cf last year. What a conundrum this theoretical discussion is! I’m also concerned that benzema seems to me like a bit of prick and disturbingly he looks a lot like nob head Shia Lebeouf.. (But then on the other hand he is quite possibly shagging Rihanna which is cool) .. Ah Fuck it my head hurts

Petit's Handbag

Benzene of all the strikers we’ve been linked with,is the best.Thats why he’s still there and Higdon is not.


Check out the Guardian headline:


“Wenger refuses to rule out 40m deal for Benzema”.

There really is no sane source of sports news left in the UK media.


It’s hilarious really, considering he kicks off with with;

“I don’t know where that story comes from, but that is not happening at the moment,” Wenger said in Singapore.

Reading between the lines here, I think Wenger is trying to say this,

‘It’s not happening. It can’t be completely ruled out because it a player transferring from one club to another isn’t completely impossible. That’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? You’re a bunch of clickbait seeking cunts and I hate you all. Now fuck off and leave me alone. Idiots.’

Stewart Robson's therapist

Anyone noticed that whenever Giroud comes on as a substitute, he usually scores? I think he would still have a crucial role to play if Benzema turned up. Which I really want to happen as he would bring a bit of canny matchwinning nous to the team. In any case, we play a system with three forwards and only have five in the squad (Giroud, Welbeck, Alexis, Theo and the Ox) assuming we sell Campbell, so surely Wenger will want to sign another and make sure we have two players for each position.


Well Benzema gets quite a lot of assists, which improves his stats a lot. In La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey that’s 144 goals and 86 assists in 291 appearances, that’s 230 goals/assists. And we’re always praising Giroud for his ‘link-up play’, although obviously Benzema plays with Ronaldo. In fact, that’s the main reason Madrid kept Benzema and sold Higuain, because the former is happy to play second fiddle to Ronaldo. Real Madrid struggle when Benzema isn’t playing, and not just because of his goals. So it would seem unlikely they wouldn’t sell Benzema, but this is Real… Read more »


Meant to say, ‘unlikely they would sell Benzema’, of course.


I’d rather have Lacazette! Not that i wouldn’t mind Benzena, but the feed an wage will be ridiculous. Lacazette is much more interesting in my opinion.
Another option could be, that we keep our attacking line as it is. Give Walcott his chance, and get a top class winger. Whom ever that could be?


Of all the strikers linked to Arsenal I would love to see Benzema come in above them all. He’s got the mobility to really work well with the team we have and can also be a target forward and certainly can finish. In a way he combines many of the attributes that Giroud and Welbeck have between them. He has proven himself at the top levels and certainly would adapt quickly to the premier league. However, with the inflated prices for top strikers I doubt Wenger will go for someone like Benzema at his cost especially after spending 16 million… Read more »


Actually, what I’d really like to see is Walcott given a proper chance as the striker, and not just “everyone else is dying/out on loan, oh well, let’s try Theo”. Giroud has improved technically quite a lot at the club, and also his mobility and pace slightly. His problem has always been consistency. He can be brilliant, exceptional for a few games, then have a patch where we’d be better off with Inanimate Carbon Rod. Every season I’ve been waiting for his consistency to improve, and it might have, but not by enough. Ian Wright himself said he’d like to… Read more »

biafran arse

So many people defending Giruod,when somebody isn’t good enough the person isn’t. He is handsome but it should be footballing abilities first


Ha ha. Arsenal’s run of form since Christmas almost exactly coincided with Giroud’s return from injury, he had a storming few months and then faded at the end of the season. So many teams play with a deep defensive line against us that there just isn’t the space in behind for players like Walcott to be so effective. It’s funny how the end of season form affects how people think about them over the summer. Theo’s place in the squad was being questioned before having two good games. If that hadn’t happened, a lot of fans would be saying he… Read more »


He would be great for us. His link up play is fantastic and he’s a clinical finisher. A really intelligent player…would love to see him combining with Ozil again.


Stranger things have happened.

Trouble with this one at the moment is who will possibly replace Benzema from market at the Bernebau?


What we need is a ruthless and clinical finisher, not another hard worker with little end product. We dont need Benzema. I believe he is over rated and Higuain is even worse. I would rather Arsene to do his magic again and uncover another diamond from nowhere, á la Eduardo. Maybe Akpom could be the answer? I dont know


Stop abusing brackets. “We’re not far [away]”… you just don’t need the away part. It’s perfectly clear what the meaning there is. Just stop it. Bad writing.


I’d rather give the play time to Akpom.

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