Arsenal Transfer Rumors: Gunners Shouldn't Chase Christian Benteke This Summer

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistMay 14, 2013

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - APRIL 29:  Carlos Cuellar (L) of Sunderland and Christian Benteke (R) of Aston Villa challenge for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Sunderland at Villa Park on April 29, 2013 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Christian Benteke is sure to be one of the hottest names on the transfer market this summer, and a number of English clubs needing help at forward will surely come knocking at his door.

But despite needing an upgrade—or at least another option—at striker, Arsenal shouldn't bother chasing Benteke or engaging in a bidding war for his services. Unfortunately, that appears to be exactly what the Gunners plan on doing. 

From Steve Stammers of the Mirror:

Tottenham have made Christian Benteke their No.1 transfer target this summer.

But they will face fierce ­competition from Arsenal for he 22-year-old Aston Villa front man has made a huge impact this season following his £7 million move last August from Belgian club Genk.

One reason why Arsenal should stay away is that, according to Stammers, "Villa would want THREE times what they paid for him—and there will be no shortage of takers at £20 million-plus."

That's a pretty steep price to pay for a player that has only played one season in the Premier League.

Sure, that one season has been epic. It would be impressive for any player to score 19 league goals, but to do so as a 22-year-old in his first season of top-flight football?

It's pretty magnificent stuff. And he's done it in a variety of manners, showing the ability to be a force in the air, strike from distance, take on defenders and put himself in positive positions to score. There's obviously a lot to like about Benteke. 

But would he really be that much of an upgrade over Oliver Giroud, or offer the Gunners a contrasting style of forward to utilize against different matchups? 

Probably not.

Yes, Benteke holds the advantage in goals this year (23 in 39 total appearances versus 18 in 46 total appearances for Giroud), but not by a staggering number. Yes, he seems slightly more clinical in his finishing, but Giroud is the more seasoned and clever player and holds the advantage in assists (10 to eight).

If Arsenal are looking to upgrade Giroud, you'd love to see the team add a player like Stevan Jovetic, who not only would be an improvement at forward but would perfectly fit Arsenal's attack and would offer a different style of play. HIs brilliance in taking on opposing defenders one-on-one would be something to see in Arsenal's system of spacing.

If Jovetic isn't in the cards, QPR's Loic Remy would also be an intriguing option. Or, the team could look to improve at winger and play Lukas Podolski in a more central role next season.

But paying  £20 million for Benteke would be pretty absurd for the Gunners, at least in my opinion. I understand Tottenham's interest—Emmanuel Adebayor has been the picture of inconsistency and Jermain Defoe seems more suited to playing the super sub role at this point in his career. 

But for Arsenal, I don't see the fit. The Gunners will need to upgrade several positions over the summer to compete for a Premier League title next year, including at forward, but there are better options than Benteke.


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