Forget Perez’s pet, Arsenal should spend big on this man instead
Revelations that Arsene Wenger has mountains of wonga at his disposal will be greeted with a mixture of cheer and disbelief by Arsenal fans no doubt.
Being able to spend £200m isn’t the same as actually doing it where the Gunners’ notoriously-frugal French manager is concerned.
The fact Petr Cech remains the only addition as yet this summer, when the likes of Jackson Martinez and Christian Beneteke have moved for tidy sums, is sure to rankle a few Gooners.
At least over the past two summer transfer windows the purse strings have been loosened somewhat, with the arrivals of £42m midfielder Mesut Ozil and £35m purchase Alexis Sanchez.
By this precedent a minimum of one marquee signing should be expected in north London, but armed with such a war chest as this, just who should Wenger be pursuing?
The clamour to strengthen up front is understandable given centre-forward Olivier Giroud is the only man left on Arsenal’s books who couldn’t easily fall into the wide-forward category.
By this reckoning Karim Benzema’s name is one that is constantly bandied about, with Wenger a known admirer of his countryman.
Then again, the Arsenal manager is not alone in his affection for Benzema, who is consistently linked with moves away from Real Madrid every time there is a transfer window, but yet he remains.
Real president Florentino Perez, the most influential man at the Bernabeu, is also a huge fan of his striker and this relationship is something of a magnetic force for Benzema, never mind playing for the world’s most decorated club.
A reported bid in excess of £31m may well test this bond’s resolve, but with a younger, quicker model also attainable for Wenger, the Arsenal boss might as well move on.
Lyon’s goal machine of last season, Alexandre Lacazette, is still only 24 and would offer a threat in behind opposition defences that the one-paced Giroud currently does not.
The Ligue 1 Player of the Year may cost a pretty penny, but to a traditionally selling club such as Lyon, the vast funds available to Wenger make a deal infinitely possible.
Wenger could well get a first-hand look at Lacazette when the Frenchman arrives with Lyon to contest the Emirates Cup at the weekend.
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