Arsenal had chance to sign La Liga no.9 forward

Arsene Wenger has explained why he tried to bring Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema to Arsenal while in charge of the club.

The French attacker was heavily linked with a move to the north London side towards the end of Wenger’s 22-year reign in north London.

He was facing competition from Gonzalo Higuain at Real Madrid but he outlasted the Argentine hero, subsequently establishing himself as one of Los Blancos’ greatest ever players.

The 33-year-old has netted 277 goals for his side and won four Champions Leagues and three La Liga titles while in Madrid.

Wenger heaped praise on Karim and was quizzed whether he tried to sign him for his old club.

The legendary French manager told beIN SPORTS: ‘Yes, because he was in competition with Higuain for a while.

‘It was Higuain for three games, three games for Benzema. He played the game based on passing and connections, so he was an ideal player up front.

‘He’s a striker who makes people around him better and sometimes you have strikers who score goals but they make players around them worse. He’s not one of them. If you put Benzema in the team, I would want to play with him.’

Working at the Emirates from 1996 to 2018, Arsene is the club’s longest-serving and most successful head coach. Under Wenger, the Gunners won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups.