Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Best Alternatives to Karim Benzema

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistAugust 25, 2013

SEVILLE, SPAIN - AUGUST 18:  Diego Costa of Club Atletico de Madrid celebrates after scoring Atletico's opening goal during the La Liga match between Sevilla FC and Club Atletico de Madrid at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on August 18, 2013 in Seville, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Arsenal's rumoured pursuit of Karim Benzema is the kind of positive transfer action that will get many supporters excited.

As reported by David Hytner of The Guardian, Arsene Wenger has suggested any bid for the Real Madrid star is dependent on the Spanish club's potential acquisition of Luis Suarez. Although interest in Benzema is certainly welcome news for the Emirates faithful, who should Wenger target if the deal fails to take place?

Prioritising strikers who possess similar qualities to the French forward, let's take a look at the best alternatives to the 25-year-old star.


Wayne Rooney, Manchester United

Oh, not this again. Rooney is one of the world-class names linked with Arsenal this summer, but his potential move to London seems more likely now than it ever has before.

As reported by Ben Rumsby of The Telegraph, Chelsea's imminent signing of Brazilian playmaker Willian ensures Jose Mourinho no longer needs to hunt Rooney so vigorously. The Portuguese manager has indicated he will make a third bid for the English forward after Monday's clash with Manchester United, as reported by Adam Crafton of the Daily Mail, but Arsenal could really complicate things with an ambitious bid to land the burly centre-forward.

Rooney's talents are obvious. He is more than capable of playing a similar role to Benzema around the opposition's box, but he will undoubtedly offer the Gunners greater energy across the pitch. Manchester United's man is begging for responsibility in a striking role and would excel with the pace of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski alongside him.


Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea

How much game time will Lukaku receive at Stamford Bridge this season? Should the Blues secure Rooney's signing, the Belgian behemoth is likely to warm the bench with regularity, thus failing to build on his stunning 17-goal haul for West Brom last campaign.

Lukaku has played a combined total of 40 minutes across two games for Chelsea so far. While Mourinho is certainly ready to throw the 20-year-old on, this is not enough playing time to secure a place in his nation’s 2014 World Cup squad.

Similar to both Benzema and Rooney, Lukaku would have no problem leading the Arsenal line on his own. His ability to hold up the ball and have defenders bounce off his powerful frame is something the Gunners have not possessed in a long time.

The pacey forward is also tailored towards counterattacking football and could form an interesting relationship with Olivier Giroud, who deserves plenty of playing time after his recent run of form.


Diego Costa, Atletico Madrid

As reported by Ben Jefferson of the Express, Diego Costa could be next in line to Wenger’s gaze of interest should a deal for Benzema fail to happen. The Brazilian forward, who has netted two goals in one La Liga appearance this season, is more than equipped to fire his way up the Premier League’s top scorer charts with versatile talents that would be welcome at the Emirates.

One of Costa’s great attributes is his ability to be a complete nuisance when the opposition is at its most relaxed. While he isn’t particularly disciplined on the pitch, his defensive contribution would allow Arsenal to defend from the front and work as a cohesive pack.

Much like Rooney and Lukaku, he prioritises carrying out simple duties across the pitch rather than waiting for the ball to land at his feet.


Which strikers should Arsene Wenger try to sign if Karim Benzema remains at the Bernabeu? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below and chat with me on Twitter: