Arsene Wenger made no attempt in hiding his desire to sign a world class striker for his team this summer.
He demomnstrated this aspiration by trying to sign high profile players like Gonzalo Higuain and Luis Suarez. While Wenger’s failure to sign Higuain hinged on the inability to meet Real Madrid’s valuation of the player, the pursuit of Suarez also fell through due to
Liverpool’s resistance to Arsenal’s advances.
Consequently, the Frenchman has been mulling over who to sign as the need to add more bite to the Gunners' strike force becomes central to a successful 2013/2014 season. But if I were Wenger, I wouldn’t have looked too far.
Neither would I spend extravagantly in recruiting a top notch goal poacher. I simply would have looked towards Villa Park and tried to lure Aston Villa’s front man, Christian Benteke, to north London.
Benteke joined Aston Villa last season and despite being a novice to the intense nature of the English Premier League, he proved his mettle and ended the season with 19 league goals. He was in an impeccable form all through the campaign and constantly showed how menacing he could be to the defence of any team.
This admirable feat made him a highly sought-after player even before the transfer window opened in July. Clubs like Chelsea and Tottenham courted the Belgian and he also made his intention to play at the top obvious to his employers, by submitting a transfer request.
However, the management of the club were able to persuade him to sign a four-year contract extension in a bid to ward off interested suitors.
The new season began last week and the tall and skill ful goal machine was in action against Arsenal, against whom he scored a brace, and Chelsea, against whom he scored a sublime goal.
Three goals in two matches to his name already and he doesn’t look like someone who can be stopped from finding the back of the net any time soon. If only Wenger could stop chasing after over-priced targets and make do with a young and gifted player who can offer world class services the same way a Luis Suarez or a Kareem Benzema would, without costing too much.
Olivier Giroud seems to be in form at the moment, but having another towering figure in front of Arsenal’s attack will bring the needed steel and also make the team a formidable one to beat. Benteke’s razor-sharp finishing ability and skillful display will correspond with Giroud’s good link-up play and positioning and with the likes of Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta manning their midfield department, the team might just be strong enough to mount a title challenge this season.
But the question is, will Paul Lambert allow his most important player to leave? Well, anything is possible in the world of football.
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