Retired French forward Thierry Henry told talkSport (via Mirror Online) on Aug. 6 that Arsenal is "a real title contender" if it can sign Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema.
Thierry Henry believes Karim Benzema can make Arsenal title contenders.
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This was what Henry told talkSport (via Mirror Online's Aaron Flanagan) on Thursday:
"I always say it's their year but there is a genuine buzz around the place right now.
"I think they can challenge this year for real if they stay injury-free.
"(Olivier) Giroud alone as a striker there -- you can't win the league, you need another type of striker. I think Giroud is doing really well -- he went on to score 14 goals in 18 games, that's amazing.
"But sometimes you need a different type of striker and I think that if they can get Benzema, suddenly they are a real title contender and also in the Champions League."
On Aug. 3, manager Arsene Wenger denied the club is targeting Benzema.
"No, nothing is happening," Wenger told Arsenal.com. "Honestly, no. I don't know who brings that up. Is it Spanish media or English media? I don't know."
Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla echoed his manager's sentiments. He said the prospect of getting Benzema is doubtful. ESPN FC obtained the information from Cope.es:
"The coach has spoken about that. I would not know if there was interest or not.
Santi Cazorla says Karim Benzema is a 'great player' who would fit into the Arsenal team seamlessly, but admits Gunners manager Arsen...— Arsenal FC Live (@Arsenal__Live) August 4, 2015
"Benzema is a great player. Everyone would like to have him in their team. Benzema would fit in any team in the world, with the quality he has, and he would adapt very well, but the coach already has his team made, and probably will not look for another forward."
Despite Arsenal's repeated denials, there has been speculation the club really wants Benzema.
Mirror Online's Adrian Kajumba describes Benzema as Wenger's "dream striker target." He says Arsenal is still pursuing the Real Madrid striker. The club will try to seize the opportunity to sign him.
However, he will not come cheap. Mail Online's Pete Jenson says Arsenal must be willing to pay Benzema £45 million.
He is also signed through 2019, per ESPN FC.
Madrid newspaper AS (via ESPN FC) reported last weekend that Arsenal is ready . It has already set aside €65 million for the French striker.
Arsenal kicks off English Premier League play against West Ham on Aug. 9, per Flanagan.
Henry suited up for Arsenal for almost a decade (1999-2007, 2012). During that span, he scored 228 goals, per Flanagan.
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