Arsenal Transfer News: Christian Benteke, Lorenzo Insigne, Fresh Gunners Rumours

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 4, 2016

Liverpool's Christian Benteke during the English Premier League soccer match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St James' Park, Newcastle, England, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
Scott Heppell/Associated Press

Arsenal have reportedly emerged as a surprised destination for Liverpool's Christian Benteke with the striker set to call time on his short Anfield career this summer. 

According to Oscar Mendez of Spanish outlet Fichajes (h/t Metro's Will Giles), Benteke is almost certain to leave Liverpool, and Arsenal are the "most logical destination" for him.

The Gunners are in need of further firepower up front when they dip into the transfer market this summer.

Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck are all decent options, but none are prolific or ruthless enough to step up when Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil aren't on form—or reliably finish the chances they create when they are.

However, Benteke is not the forward Arsenal need. The Belgian has had a largely torrid time at Liverpool with just seven goals and five assists to his name in 32 appearances.

Further, the struggles he's had fitting in at Anfield—due to his lack of movement and inability to link up well with his team-mates—would only be exacerbated at the Emirates Stadium where quick passing, intricate build up and dynamism are the order of the day.

Football writer Jack Lusby has been unimpressed with Benteke this season:

Though he can be a prolific goalscorer—he had 49 goals in 101 appearances for Aston Villa—his confidence is rock bottom. What he needs is to move into a less pressured environment, which Arsenal would not provide.

Also, the Gunners already have Giroud to add height and a physical option up front, so don't expect Arsenal to pursue Benteke.

Ciro Fusco/Associated Press

A more realistic option is Napoli's Lorenzo Insigne, and he's been a long-term target for the Gunners, according to However, per Sky Italia (h/t Calciomercato), the Partenopei have held talks with his representatives with a view to agreeing a new deal.

The 24-year-old has scored 12 goals and assisted 11 this season and has a flair for the spectacular, per BT Sport Football:

BeIN Sports' Matteo Bonetti hailed the winger's creativity and sublime passing, and earlier in the season described him as "world class:"

More incisive than the likes of Walcott, Welbeck and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, he would make an excellent signing for Arsenal. If Napoli aren't able to tie him down to a new contract the Gunners should make a point of pursuing him, though they may find themselves facing plenty of competition.

Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press

F.J. Diaz of Spanish newspaper AS (h/t James Whaling of the Mirror) reported Arsenal are also interested in signing Atletico Madrid's Saul Niguez.

The 21-year-old is a central or holding midfielder by trade but is versatile and can play out wide also. La Liga writers Andrew Gaffney and Dermot Corrigan hailed him during Atletico's 3-0 victory over Real Sociedad on Tuesday:

In 21 league outings this term, Saul has made 43 tackles, won 46 headed duels and made 42 interceptions, according to Squawka.

Arsenal could use some fresh blood in midfield to add steel and youthful energy to their spine—something the likes of Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini are unable to provide—and Saul would be an outstanding buy.

Per Whaling, he has a £34.7 million buyout clause. As steep a price as that is for a player of his age, the Spaniard possesses incredible ability and potential, so he could prove a real coup.