Transfer News: Karim Benzema eyes Premier League switch as Al-Ittihad stint sours

Back in January 2023, the football world woke up to a rather rude reality when Saudi Arabia and their Saudi Pro League came knocking on the door of Manchester United and secured the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo. But what followed in the summer of 2023 was quite spectacular. The Saudi Pro League arrived, and they meant serious business.

The Saudi Pro League lured some of the world’s biggest soccer stars with an “exciting project” and staggering wages. Six months on, however, the story has changed as several players, such as Roberto Firmino, are looking to terminate their contracts, while former Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has terminated his contract and secured a move to Ajax.

Karim Benzema’s Premier League aspirations

Karim Benzema has expressed his growing frustration with life and football in the Saudi Pro League. It’s not surprising that a player of his caliber would find the SPL not satisfying. Massive wages won’t ever be able to compensate for insufficient competition, coaching staff, squad planning, and infrastructure.

Karim Benzema’s arrival in the Saudi Pro League turned into a nightmare as he struggled to settle into a new climate and had a fallout with then-club manager Nuno Santos. Santos, who, despite having the experience of managing several Premier League clubs such as Wolves and Spurs, excluded Benzema from his Al-Ittihad plans.

There was visible friction between the two, and Santos was sacked in November 2023 after a run of poor results. There were also reports of Karim Benzema having been left out of Al-Ittihad’s mid-season training camp in Dubai after repeatedly failing to report for duty.

Despite the dismissal of Santos and having racked up 19 goal contributions in 20 games, Benzema is looking for an early exit, with the Premier League being his potential target, where there is no dearth of clubs looking for an experienced goal scorer like the 36-year-old Ballon d’Or winner, with names such as Manchester United and Chelsea being the most prominent.

Chelsea among interested clubs for Karim Benzema

It is of little surprise that Chelsea are one of the names looking to secure the services of the French international, given how they have fared in front of goal this season. Chelsea have created a total of 44xG but have only scored 35 goals, leading to a deficit of 9 goals. Chelsea have all the ingredients needed to create goalscoring opportunities in the form of the highly creative midfielders Cole Palmer, Enzo Fernandez and Christopher Nkunku. But it is in the final third where they suffer the most.

Nicolas Jackson’s form in front of goal has been poor.

Nicolas Jackson, despite having scored a hat-trick against the Spurs, has been largely misfiring. His form in front of the goal has been dismal, to say the least. Such a context would be perfect for a potent striker like Karim Benzema, who has all the qualities needed to thrive at Chelsea. With him, Chelsea stands to gain experience forward and could take in Jackson as his understudy and help him improve his finishing and overall play.

Would the transfer of Karim Benzema to Chelsea be a good move? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!


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