As The Daily Mirror’s Matt Law notes, the Gunners will have to beat both domestic and European teams for the 22-year-old’s signature if they choose to pursue him when the transfer window reopens:
Tottenham are at the front of the queue to sign Benteke at the end of the season, ahead of north London rivals Arsenal and Villa’s opponents tomorrow night, Manchester City. Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid have now also upped their interest, taking the number of clubs chasing Benteke to six.
Law believes that the team that does secure the Belgian striker will likely have to at least double the £7 million fee Villa paid for him prior to this season. In addition, the report states that the club plans on offering Benteke a steep wage hike to try and keep him in Birmingham.
But Villa’s ability to keep its newfound star will depend entirely on whether or not it is able to avoid relegation. The team currently sits 18th in the table after earning just 24 points from 28 matches.
The blame for the Lions’ poor showings this season does not rest with Benteke. The young striker has 11 goals and four assists in Premiership fixtures.
He has shown exceptional pace and power during his first EPL campaign, and he is certainly an exciting talent. At 6’3” 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.
Some strikers with his size are clumsy, but Benteke has proven to be a skilled player with the ability to challenge goalkeepers from distance.
He has all the tools to become a feared goalscorer in the Premier League for a long stretch of time.
The same praise does not apply to Olivier Giroud’s campaign, as the Frenchman has not been overly impressive this season. His nine league goals is nothing to sneer at, but he has not shown the pace and creativity to suggest that he will be a consistent attacking threat in the future.
While he may have productive matches left in him, Arsene Wenger would be unwise to head into next season without adding attacking reinforcements.
Benteke will certainly be costly due to the massive amount of interest he is attracting, but if the club believes that the Belgian’s best days are ahead of him, he is certainly worth a sizable fee.
At such a young age, he still has room to improve and ensure that he makes the most out of his physical gifts. Benteke is one of the most promising strikers in England, and Arsenal need help up front.
The team must put in competitive bids for him this summer as he would be a perfect fit at the Emirates.