Arsenal set to go all in to sign £80m “monster” over Karim Benzema

The 2023/24 season has been a real mixed bag for Arsenal so far as they flew through their Champions League group with ease and topped the Premier League table on Christmas Day, but three losses on the bounce have seen them fall to fourth and crash out of the FA Cup.

While there are many reasons for this drop in form, the most significant is the frontline’s poor finishing, as they scored just a single goal from 63 shots in their last three games.

With a statistic such as that, it’s no surprise that Mikel Arteta’s side have been linked with a number of quality number nines this month, including French superstar Karim Benzema. However, based on recent developments, they look set to go in for someone else.


Arsenal look to the Premier League to solve striker woes

According to TEAMtalk, Arsenal are on the lookout for a new number nine in 2024, and while several players have caught their attention, they have narrowed the field and are ‘ready to pounce’ for Brentford’s Ivan Toney.

The Englishman has been courting attention from the Gunners and fellow London side Chelsea for quite some time now, but the report has revealed that with the Blues hoping to land Napoli’s Victor Osimhen in the summer, the Gunners have leapt ahead in the race for Toney.

While there is still a chance that a deal could be agreed this month, TEAMtalk has also reported that the Bees are confident of agreeing a new contract with their star striker that will include a release clause worth around £80m.


So, Edu and Co can either wait a few months and activate this supposed clause or move earlier and potentially pay more. Whatever they do, signing Toney would be a better long-term option than signing Benzema.

How Ivan Toney compares to Karim Benzema

Now, some people may be convinced that signing the Frenchman is obviously the best idea for Arsenal, given the club’s desperation for a proven goalscorer, and while that line of thinking makes perfect sense, it does not consider the reality of the situation.

The first thing to note is that both strikers had very impressive goalscoring seasons last year, with the Brentford “monster” as described by his manager, Thomas Frank, ending the season with 20 goals and four assists in the league, while Benzema finished his campaign with 19 goals and three assists.

However, where Toney overperformed his expected goals figure of 18.7, his French competitor underperformed his figure of 21.5, and worse still, his nine goals for Al-Ittihad this season is a slight underperformance on his expected goals figure of 9.83.

While a differential of 0.83 wouldn’t usually be too much to worry about, the fact that it has come in a comparatively weak league, a year after the far more severe gulf in La Liga, is a slight cause for concern, especially as, at 36 years old, he is firmly in the twilight of his career.


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The Gunners could swipe the 22-year-old from the grasp of the Red Devils.

Moreover, as things stand, the second top scorer in the Saudi Pro League is ex-Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic with 17 goals, and there probably won’t be too many fans or pundits clamouring for Arsenal to sign him.

Saudi Pro League Top Scorers 2023/24





Expected Goals



Cristiano Ronaldo





Aleksandar Mitrovic





Georges-Kévin Nkoudou










Abderrazzaq Hamed Allah



All Stats via xValue

Ultimately, while a player of Benzema’s prestige will always get fans excited – and rightly so – if the Gunners were going to sign him, it should have been when they were first linked almost a decade ago.

Toney is younger, accustomed to the league and looks to be on an upward trajectory at the moment, and none of those things can be said of the former Real star.

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