One of the most pressing tasks for Manchester United’s next manager – most probably Jose Mourinho – is to increase the goal threat through the team.
And, amidst a swirl of transfer speculation, The Independent reports that Jose’s priority target for Manchester United is a celebrated France international. Mark Ogden writes:
Karim Benzema to Manchester United: Jose Mourinho identifies Real Madrid striker as priority transfer target
The France international could line up alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is understood to be close to a move.
At 28 (29 in December) Benzema would represent a very low risk signing, despite a hefty price tag and salary. Because he has scored goals wherever he has played and with great regularity.
He burst onto the scene at Lyon in 2004 and scored an impressive 66 goals in 148 games, many of which came while he was still a teenager. This prompted Sir Alex Ferguson to famously offer Benzema a Manchester United shirt in what was surely an attempt to lure the player before his move to Real Madrid in 2009.
In 7 full seasons at Real Madrid he has scored 161 goals in 316 games – that’s almost exactly a goal ratio of 1 in 2.
He’s also done the business at international level with a decent return of 27 goals in 81 games. Not a prolific return but Benzema is much more than a goal-hanger. He’s got wonderful technique and would also fancy himself in The Premier League with his big physique and excellent hold up play.
He wouldn’t necessarily speed up the Manchester United forward line but he would be a reliable finisher and surely be a success at the club.
There is a sense that, after 7 years, Benzema may call time on his Spanish odyssey and perhaps a move to England is now the most likely outcome. Whether it’s at United, Arsenal or another club, we can easily imagine him plying his trade in Blighty next season.