Arsenal are set to ramp up their interest in Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke but may be forced to battle it out with Tottenham for the Belgium international’s signature, according to reports in Daily Mail.
The Belgian international has become one of the most feared strikers in the Premier League after a stunning debut season in England saw him score 23 goals in 39 games last year.
Arsenal currently sit at the top of the Premier League table but Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is keen to delve into the transfer market with a new striker believed to be at the top of his wish list.
The report states that the Belgium international striker was available in the summer for around £18 million but at the time there was a reluctance from the Gunners, and indeed Spurs, to sign him on the basis that he might have been a one-season wonder. So Benteke took the option to improve his wages and sign a new deal with Villa, who in turn can now command a fee in the region of £28 million for the player.
Olivier Giroud has been in razor sharp form for the Londoners this term, but Wenger is thought to be worried by the lack of support he has for the Frenchman. Nicklas Bendtner is the only other fit striker available but it looks the manager recognises that he cannot rely on the Denmark international alone.
Benteke is an exciting talent and has exceptional pace and power. At 6 ft 3 in and 180 pounds, he has an imposing frame that allows him to be extremely effective both on set pieces and with his back to goal. He has the ability to challenge goalkeepers from distance too. He is strong, quick and he is excellent in the air. He is a real problem for opposing defenders as he is also good with his feet and can pick out a pass. However his passing accuracy can be quite weak at times.
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The only issue about trying to sign him in January is whether the player would want to risk his place in the Belgian team for next summer’s World Cup by joining the Gunners with the form Olivier Giroud is in, Benteke wouldn’t be guaranteed to start every week which may effect his chances, so he might not consider it a wise move for him at this stage.
With Tottenham also interested I wouldn’t be surprised if the price escalates to £35 million. Should we pay that much money for Benteke? I don’t think so. There is no doubt that the Belgian is a great player but it wouldn’t be wise to pay that amount money on a player whose play is strikingly similar to that of Giroud, instead Arsenal should go for a versatile striker that can play on the wings or alone centrally when the occasion demands for it.
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