Fans and critics around the world appear to have reached a consensus this summer: Arsenal can make a legitimate title challenge in 2015-16, but they need a truly world-class striker to fire in the goals (no offence, Olivier Giroud).
On Tuesday, it appeared that the prayers of Gunners fans were set to be answered in the shape of long-term target Karim Benzema:
The French striker posted an image of himself on a private plane, accompanied by a caption that the Independent translated thusly: "Leave the past to the past. #directionfuture." Naturally, plenty of fans jumped to the conclusion that this post referred to Benzema's professional situation and took a further leap in assuming his plane was pointed at the Emirates:
Benzema's list of recent Instagram follows helped fuel the flames:
This Arsene Wenger quote, meanwhile, may not be entirely true, but it captured the mood:
Understandably, Gunners fans were pretty excited:
The speculation reached a fever pitch on Tuesday evening, when rumours of Benzema's private plane arriving in London spread:
This was big news!
Sadly, it appeared Benzema had led fans down the garden path, as he turned up in Shanghai for a friendly against Milan:
The speculation took a nose dive when the French forward trained with the team and posed in his white shirt on promotional duties—clearly not the behaviour of a man with his foot out of the door:
Naturally, Arsenal supporters felt let down by what had transpired:
But, since this is the Internet, the sentiment of Arsenal disappointment was far outweighed by those mocking the red side of north London for being excited in the first place:
The Benzema rumours appear to have gone dormant for now, but there still remains around a month for this young man's shirt to go from absurd to prophetic:
Benzema's fashion choices, however, remain absurd:
Thankfully, Arsenal fans have been handed a quantum of solace: If Benzema is a no-show again this summer, there's always the back-up plan of sticking Laurent Koscielny up front: