Reports of a nearly completed deal for Danny Ings and rumours of Charlie Austin interest may fall somewhere between underwhelming and depressing for most Liverpool fans, but so long as the club bring in a true top striker this summer, few will have complaints about adding a bit of depth. The key, though, will be in actually bringing in that top striker, something the club failed miserably at last time around.
Last summer, needing to replace a superstar in Luis Suarez, they brought in Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert. And they're paying the price for that today as they head towards a fifth-place league finish and a return to the Europa League. This summer, with Daniel Sturridge’s fitness a serious doubt going forward, the club once again know a top striker is needed, and the likes of Ings and Austin as their only striker signings would see fans in a foul mood to start next season.
According to the Daily Star, the answer the club chooses could be to get into a fight with Arsenal and Manchester United over Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema. Madrid have a surplus of attacking talent, and at 27 years of age it’s likely Benzema has hit his peak. That has rumour mongers in Spain wondering if the Spanish giants could be ready to move him on and reinvest in somebody a little younger to compliment their new Galacticos.
Benzema has been in top form for Madrid this seaon, scoring 22 goals and adding 14 assists in 44 appearances across all competitions, but Madrid have never been shy about chopping and changing their squad, and of shipping out players once they become fixated on a newer, flashier model. And Benzema, for all his skills in front of goal, has always seemed one of Madrid’s least flashy attacking parts and at threat of being moved on.
Even if Madrid really were looking to sell him, though, there would be at least two major sticking points for Liverpool. First, a rumoured €50M price tag. Second, suggestions that Arsenal and Manchester United, both clubs that can offer Champions League action, are also interested in him. Benzema might offer the kind of proven quality in front of goal Liverpool need, but realistically he is well out of the market Liverpool can currently hope to shop in.
Even young stars like Luciano Vietto and Mauro Icardi would seem something of a stretch for a Liverpool side set to miss out on the Champions League and who seem most seriously to be linked to relegated bargain buys. A player like Karim Benzema is, to put it bluntly, currently beyond them, and as exciting as his signing might be, Liverpool fans shouldn’t allow themselves to get caught up by the idea that it might actually happen.
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