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Here’s an in-depth report about the latest and greatest whispers. This time we’ll focus on Christian Benteke’s rumoured move to Arsenal FC.
Arsenal fans have been crying out for additional striking support ever since the loss of Robin Van Persie in 2012. Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck have struggled to keep the Gunners firing, and they’re regularly linked with some of the most prolific strikers at the top of the game. For now, they’ve managed to resist the urge to spend, but there are still rumours they could be in for Liverpool’s Christian Benteke in the upcoming transfer window.
Christian Benteke is the latest big name striker to be linked with a move to Arsenal, following a rough start to his Liverpool career. He might not be the most illustrious forward of recent times to be associated with the Gunners, but with a recent Football Whispers index score of 3.6, it seemed that it could be a solid possibility. The score suddenly dropped to a lowly 1.1 today, but let’s have a look at just what he would offer if the move is reignited.
It’s well publicised that Arsenal failed to sign any outfield players at the start of the transfer window this season, and their current faltering form suggests they’re being made to pay. If Arsene Wenger stays on next year, he’ll have to reinforce his depleted attack, and Benteke could be a viable option.
Liverpool would probably be willing to offload the Belgian striker, considering the problems he’s faced since moving from Aston Villa. Despite his £32.5m price tag, he’s slowly fallen down the pecking order, and frequently looks lost while leading the line at Liverpool. Seven goals in 24 league appearances this season is a decent return, but it only tells part of the story. He was signed for the previous manager Brendan Rodgers who was soon replaced, and it’s still unclear whether he fits into Jurgen Klopp’s long term plans. It’s looking increasingly unlikely as the season progresses.
Divock Origi was picked ahead of Benteke for the recent 2-1 league win over Crystal Palace. It must have been hard for the Belgian who was sitting on the bench, especially considering that Origi was included in the Ligue 1 worst team of the season by L’Equipe last year.
Arsenal are famed for their wingers, so the idea of Benteke being fed consistent crosses (as well as through the middle by Mesut Ozil) must seem like an interesting proposition for the striker and the club. He’s a different option, and they’re used to playing with a target man in the form of Giroud. He’d offer another dimension to their attack, while he’s suited to their style of play. Arsenal supporters have been crying out for players who will shoot on sight, and the Belgian international is unlikely to bother with any tricky link-up play in the box.
If Benteke is given decent service he’s a proven striker in the league, as evidenced by his time at Villa Park, and he would likely be desperate to show he still has what it takes.
Our index indicates that there could have been more to the move than the usual paper talk, and Benteke was one of the league’s inform strikers before his move to Merseyside. As a manager known for wanting the best deal available, the possibility of a bargain could be enough for Arsene Wenger to open his coffers. Could the Belgian be the one to tempt Wenger’s hand, or will he move for another striker? The recent dip in the index score suggests that a move to a different climate could be on the cards, or that he could even stay and tough it out at Liverpool.
Aside from interest from Arsenal, there are also reports that Benteke turned down a lucrative potential move to China in the last window, so it’s clear that he wants to remain in the Premier League, or at least prove that the move up in expectations hasn’t overwhelmed him. The Gunners are likely to be playing in the Champions League, and it’s arguably a step up from Liverpool, considering their team and top four status.
Does he deserve a second chance to prove he can make it at one of the biggest clubs in the world? He’s kept working despite his issues, and he earned and scored the penalty that won the points at Palace over the weekend. In any case, he’s likely to have potential suitors from across the globe, so the price may not be as low as expected.
It might not be the move that Arsenal supporters are crying out for, but stranger things have happened in the Premier League. Would Liverpool even be willing to sell to a rival? Considering their past history, it’s hard to say, and he would only serve to strengthen the Arsenal squad. Keep checking our index regularly for more updates on the story. For now, it seems like the move is off.