Think twice before signing Karim Benzema, Fergie..

Karim Benzema

In the two weeks since it was announced that United had agreed to sell Ronaldo for the princely sum of £80m, there have been a plethora of names linked to the club, with the general consensus being that in order to appease the fans and keep the club on its current level, we can’t afford to “unearth” another player, we can’t afford to give Nani a chance to develop, we need a “marquee signing” as it were, with the two major names being mentioned, Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema.

The clubs that each “belong to” seem to have softened their stance and are now (seemingly, at least) prepared to hop on the cash cow merry go round that is illuminating football this summer. And in the immediate wake of the Ronaldo transfer (even before that, as I blogged on this very page) I urged Ferguson to deliver both Ribery and Benzema.

There’s no doubting they are two of the best “available” players on the market – Ribery’s proven wing play and Benzema’s frightening potential clearly would fit the bill for that marquee signing. There is an alternative, ideal option who I will highlight later but I will first highlight my concerns over the two that have been strongest linked recently.

But for the very same reason I’m actually happy that the current best player in the world is leaving our club, I’m starting to have my doubts about whether I would really want two players who have been strongly linked with a move to the two biggest Spanish clubs and have either made constant remarks to that effect (Benzema) or have close friends coaxing them there (Ribery, with Zidane).

And on reflection I think that this factor could be playing on Sir Alex Ferguson’s mind – it may be overly sentimental and unrealistic of me to think that every player in the world has United as their dream club but in fairness, that’s not really the issue – as Cantona, Solskjaer and, more recently Rooney, have proved. And they don’t necessarily have to fall in love with the club and kiss the badge on scoring a goal, but for example, Berbatov probably earned himself a repreive from some slack amongst fans because of his desire to play for us, to the extent he turned down far more money to play for City.

If we were to sign Ribery, then the wanderlust would probably be less of an issue – we would be signing for a huge fee and getting him at his peak, expecting him to spend those peak years at Old Trafford. And though Zidane has spoken of his desire for Real to sign Ribery, there has been little by way of comment from the man himself.

But Benzema is a different kettle of fish – he has seemed very reluctant to move to United and would even prefer to stay with Lyon to presumably hold out for the move to Spain where both of the main clubs would be more likely to make that move next summer. At 21, even if we did sign him, the likelihood is that in two years the transfer rumours will start up again.

A major thing to consider as well is the marketing side – Ronaldo was of huge commercial value to the club, just as Beckham was, and to sound as non-homo-erotic as I can, there may be the thinking to buy a player that will set as many female pulses racing for his non-football ability as he does to the men for his performance on the pitch.

My conclusion on this front (and all fronts, to be fair) therefore is that Sergio “Kun” Aguero of Atletico would be absolutely ideal – unlikely to push for a move to Real due to ties with his current club, less likely to actively pursue the move back to Spain straight away having played there. He may not be the tallest but his low centre of gravity is akin to that of Messi’s in that it is to the major benefit of his dribbling ability, and indeed, he has scored goals of all types in Madrid. Essentially an improved Tevez, substituting some of the grafting for that extra touch of class.

The question mark is whether or not he could fit into the system but given that just last week we were ready to part with £25.5m to keep Tevez at the club, I can’t help but think the fact that Aguero is similar but technically better and has great marketing potential could see him as an ideal signing.

What do you think? Would you want Benzema at the club knowing at the back of your mind he could pine for a move to Real? Do you think signing Aguero would be to the detriment of Rooney’s development? Or do you think with the money apparently available we should go for both AND Ribery, and Valencia?


27 Comments on Think twice before signing Karim Benzema, Fergie..

  1. No, i don’t agree, Benzema must be signed, Aguero is good but similar in style to rooney, we don’t need another work horse what we need is an out and out striker, plus who is to know what Benzema will do should he come here, even if 3 years down the line RM poke their noses in, we can afford to sell players as we are experts at replacing them, and we make more than double what we pay anyway.

  2. yeah right, kun aguero? the son in law of maradona (the one to say man utd is not a club for tevez? and to remind you again, could you see a loyal argentinean player in the premier league? mascherano, tevez, heize all are players who seeks for moves! They can never stay loyal to one premier league club, so there will never be a good investment for an argentinean player in epl.

  3. Benzema over Aguero every day of the week.. As you said in an Ideal world us signing Ribery & Benzema will leave us with nothing more to desire for..

    But as we all know it may not work out in that manner.. Ribery IMO will be very expensive and Bayern will surely not sell at a low price this summer.. I would be accepting of us signing either 1 or 2 of: Valencia, Alexis Sanchez & Douglas Costa..

    As for the striker we are shy of I would really like for us to get Benzema & Benzema alone he IMO is EXACTLY what we need.. (We sort of missed out on Torres & would not want to miss out on Benzema.. Who IMO is the closest thing to Torres) If this means waiting for him for 1 year then so be it.. Moreover If he decides to move onto Spain 5-6 years down the line (which he may not choose to do ofcourse) I will not be happy but would accept that… And since I said I don’t mind waiting a year to get him we would obviously need a decent backup for Rooney & Berbatov for this season (as Welbeck & Macheda are not enough) Either we keep Campbell for 1 more season or we sign a player on loan or even get in an experienced striker who could probably play for 1-2 years more..

  4. I Agree that Benezma 21 is a top quality Player/Talent but you have to worry about his ego which seems as large as C ronaldos already without actually doing anything other than score goals yes quality goals but in a Poor French League.

    I personally wouldnt want Kun Aguero anywere near Old Trafford why becus he wouldnt get in the team on Big Games just like tevez which means a year on Maradona slating the club in the newspapers.

    Ribery i dont no For the money talked for him.

    Valencia we could give a try for £15 Million.

    Have faith in Welbeck and Macheda to play with Rooney ,Berba.

    Welbeck To Be The New Number 7 !!!!

    You Heard it Here First ^

    Please Fergi Dont play Neville in the Prem Again. Da Silvas Twins For Ever

  5. Unitedfan-

    I agree that Aguero is similar “in style” to Rooney in that he is not a target man but he is not a “workhorse” as you describe – in fact, as I describe in the blog, this is what sets him apart from Tevez. He has the class, ability on the ball and dribbling ability that Tevez doesn’t have. And given we were ready to spend £25m on Tevez, is Aguero at £10-15m extra really that bad an option?

    Zubina –

    You make a good point with what you say because Argentinian’s in the Premier League have not really made a big splash, if you like. But, playing devil’s advocate, Aguero said in his time at Inde in South America that he very much wanted to play some day in England, he has done 3 years in Spain, and what greater challenge that filling the void of the greatest player in the world to fulfil his potential?

    Chirag –

    I won’t argue over Benzema’s quality, he’s a great player. As I mentioned in the blog though his clear reluctance to come to United over moving to Spain, Italy, or staying at Lyon puts me well off – does that not concern you? By the way thats, of course, his right, to stay there and I’m not suggesting we have a right to bully them into a sale.

    But by the same token he may in playing terms be what we’re missing but at this exact time when we are selling an excellent player who cares nothing about our club, is it really a wise move for Sir Alex in his last cycle as manager to bring in another player who would use us as a stepping stone to hotter climate even if he did decide to come here? In those terms it’s probably as big a signing for Fergie in terms of the legacy he leaves as it is for the current standing of the club – in terms of tradition more than current success.

    Sanchez, I have great doubts over his strength and consistency (though it could be developed), and Douglas Costa has an incredible temperament problem to the extent that moving him out of his own environment isn’t a risk I would want our club to take if it comes to replacing the best player in the world, particularly when in Anderson and Rooney we have players who are still yet to fulfil their potential who would keep him out.

    Finally, I believe Welbeck and Macheda have shown plenty enough and nous for us to feel comfortable about releasing Campbell. Campbell is talented but I won’t forget the impact the other 2 had on our season, I hope they flourish as real, decent options next season.

  6. man u should sign any1 they want but since they are always loser as they are so they got to sell if madrid want … :P… as always can be seen that man u fans always suck furgusson dick… bitch losers…

  7. forget ribery, forget, aguero, we still have another ronaldo clon and that’s Nani he is good replacement for Ronaldo, and Benzema that’s a perfect team

  8. If the only reason not to sign Benzema is because, like Ronaldo, he has harboured a childhood desire to play for Real Madrid, then it’s not enough.

    Benzema is a world class player in the making and if the situation evolves the same way the Ronaldo one did i.e. Signing him, getting a huge amount of success out of him and then selling him on in 5 to 7 years for an exorbitant fee, then so be it. The club will have done well.

    Manchester Utd fans have to realistic. The city is located in the arsehole of Europe (Northern England) and with the exception of guys who were brought up in that region (like Rooney) there are going to be very few that wish to commit their entire career there. Go to Manchester and then go to Madrid and see where you’d rather live. The difference in the quality of life is just staggering. It is a testament to the worldwide reputation of the club (and it’s economic power) that we’ve been able to attract so many top players.

    I’ve always said that players come to Utd to win trophies but they go to barcelona or Madrid to enjoy life.

  9. couldn’t agree with dapxin more…we have top shelf lads in the reserves that want to play for us and not some other club. looking to the continent is nice if you find what you want and the feeling is mutual…but i’d take berba for his desire to be a united man and let him and rooney develop chemistry…if we get costa or valencia and a huntelaar…we’ll be sorted.

  10. As you said, aguero is seeking a move to premire league. Then I should retract my claim that “argentinean players are not loyal to epl clubs” and change it to “argentinean players are rarely loyal to their clubs”. This could be seen as in an earlier era as diego maradona the argentinean footballing god who moves from one football club to another. It’s rare to one such as javier zanetti of inter milan. What we need are players who are committed and are actually fans of manchester united, so that their drive is not wholly for the money but for the success of the club. I am actually with you about benzema, but i am also against the idea for little kun aguero.

  11. The first thing I said to my mate with regards to Benzema was, his comments about hanging on at Lyon for one more season, is so he can get his ‘dream’ move to the facists next season. The reason being that Perez will spend big again next summer and he will target Benzema. Zidane will play a key role in that as well, just as he is trying to do with Ribery. He is a top player who would be a hit at United, but his wish for a move to Madrid will hinder our progress.

  12. @naidu, english osthundha gandu?
    @Kings, had to tell him that in his language,mate.
    @Zubina, I have wondered myself what it is with the Argentinian players, Zanetti and Messi apart! Jeez!!!

    Benzema would be ideal but I am not for the whole dance after 3-4 seasons. I am thinking that if SAF knew of the CR7 situation and that he never wanted Tevez at that price, I am sure he knows that replacing 40 odd goals is going to be tough. But if we want to replicate the RM theory of buying stars then it sends out the wrong message to the youngsters, both from the academy and the ones we have brought in.

    I think we have to give the likes of Nani, Tosic, Wellbeck and Macheda a proper go. Now that everything does not have to go through CR7 Rooney and Berba will deliver more and I would rather have 5-6 players with 7-10 goals than one 20 odd goals man! We need at most a winger who can deliver on the right instead of park who i think is eventually going to be a midfield sweeper. Maybe Valencia or Juan Mata on the wings.

  13. Lets forget about loyalty for now.what we need is the talent to make sure utd wil always b tops.if they decide to move on later,then defntly we get enuf cash 2 replace them,as in the case of cr7.alex sanchez,aguero/benzema,mati fernandez of villareal.

  14. It’s interesting that many of the comments here are for actually giving players we already have a chance. It’s a theory I don’t neccessarily disagree with though you have to factor in the repercussions – Tosic looks like a great talent but I have my doubts over his strength, trusting Nani to be a direct Ronaldo replacement would be a gamble given he’s at “make or break” stage, whereas the likes of Gibson, Macheda and Welbeck are still developing and wouldn’t neccesarily be “relied” upon in the same way that our young wingers would be.

    The signing of Ljajic could also be key to Fergie’s transfer plans – I’ve admittedly only seen snippets of him in action but by all accounts he has frightening potential.

    Bey, while I would (and have) in essence agreed that I feel we need a really big signing I also don’t believe in the theory that we should “forget about loyalty to remain top”.

    The club has a philosophy and it is that which makes so many people fall in love with United. Legends are generally created at the club and not bought in, one only has to look at Liverpool’s hysterical attempt to play catch up with us in the 90’s to see that throwing money at the problem doesn’t make it go away.

    When Chelsea dominated and were spending £100m each summer Fergie didn’t go mental with his side, instead signing Park and van der Sar for a combined fee of about £7m and then the season after getting Carrick for £15m – a transition that brought stunning results.

    Ronaldo has left but bring in a replacement such as Aguero and A.N. Other taking into account Tevez’s departure and we’re still stronger than any of our domestic rivals and as likely as any to triumph in Europe. We’re not in such dire straits that we need to panic buy – I think Fergie should sign someone who is right for the club so the likes of Anderson, the twins, Nani, Possebon can all continue to build the great team spirit of last season, we certainly don’t need someone who’s making the googly eyes at another team for his entire spell at OT.

    And besides, buying players for their resale value has never really worked at United – our loyalty to players has usually meant if they leave they leave at a fee that seems outrageously low, if anything at all. We let Irwin, Schmeichel and Bruce leave for free, when Fergie wanted Beckham out the £25m seemed scandalously low considering marketing losses, Veron left for moneybags Chelsea for half what we paid for him, and then Forlan went for about £2m and is rated at something ridiculous like £30m now.

    The fact remains is that United, regardless of financial climate, are usually charged a premium to sign a player which is probably at least 33% more than their true value, while we remain more than fair with regards to sales of players.

    The £80m for Ronaldo is the exception rather than the rule.

  15. Also I want to add that the example of Veron and van Nistelrooy signing in 2001 serves as a stark reminder that simply throwing money at the problem doesn’t mean we will necessarily stay top – I remember when Chelsea bought Shevchenko just after we won the league in 2007, people thought they would walk it and I had a feeling that we would still win the league.

    But, even Veron showed a degree of loyalty and was reluctant to leave the club – so at least that shows that an Argie can show loyalty at United, eh zubina! =)

  16. I agree totally. Ribery is too much and Benzema would be on his way in a couple of seasons anyway. I think we should sign Aguero but we do need an attacking midfielder like Ribery only a cheaper option. I’d love to see Ibrahimovich replace Berbatov but his attitude stinks. In fact I have no idea what I really want….. Fergie will do the write thing, I trust him!

  17. Naidu is right, United are a feeder club to anyone who want players with more marketing than on-the-field value or want to pay ridiculous sums. I’m waiting more than anything Marca’s valuations. After every game either CR or Kaka is overvalued and overpaid shite. And mark my words Figo(the most overrated player ever), genuine Ronaldo, ZZ and so on couldn’t lead them to promised land. FFS why don’t they understand that synergy thing?

    Only thing funnier is Citeh’s pursuit of success. How fucking stupid you have to be to see that players have ambitions beyond greediness?

  18. And hands up everyone who misses Kanchelskis, Ince, Bekham and van Nistelrooy. And you guys missing Keano stop that mexican wave.

  19. Shut up you muppet!!!!
    dont bother to warn sir alex like hes some sort of amateur.
    Benzema is quality, trust his judgement!!!

  20. Great article Yolkie. With the quota of home grown players looming, apparently resulting in Rafa signing Johnson, I feel that United should focus their attention on British players if possible. The first player that comes to mind that could slot in on the wing is Ashley Young. For his age, potential and nationality, I would take him over Ribery. Young is already a very good set piece taker with lots of pace and decent finish and can surely only get better under Ferguson. The striker position is a tricky issue; United could leave things as they are in order to help Welbeck and Macheda progress, though this is unlikely.

  21. Benzema would be a good replacement for Tevez, likewise is Aguero, but Benzema is more interested it seems to join Madrid, with Zidane being the diplomat there to lure the frenchman. And Aguero will surely be discouraged by Maradona, unless he really is willing to join united.
    If possible, United must try buy some English players, like Sid said, and bring some more youngsters through the ranks

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