Karim Benzema gave giddy Arsenal fans a taste of what they could be in for with a lethal finish in Real Madrid’s International Champions Cup match against Manchester City this morning.
The French striker has been linked with a summer move to the Emirates Stadium, as The Independent reports, but is currently with Los Blancos on their pre-season tour of Australia.
A strong Real side went into the half-time interval with a 3-1 lead over City at the MCG in Melbourne, and Benzema got the ball rolling on 21 minutes with a first-time finish from Gareth Bale’s delivery.
The 27-year-old had to backtrack to meet a cross that was several yards behind him, and yet still managed to expertly guide a volley into the bottom corner, as can be seen in the video below.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe extended Madrid’s advantage before Yaya Toure pulled one back from the penalty spot in first-half stoppage time following a questionable handball call against Sergio Ramos.
Ballon d’Or holder Ronaldo has been linked with a return to Manchester United today, as the Daily Express reports, but Benzema is far more likely to be gracing the Premier League next term.
Arsenal board member Lord Harris is quoted by the Daily Mail as saying that manager Arsene Wenger has £200m to spend this summer, and that a world-class striker is top of his shortlist of targets.
Benzema, who has scored 123 in 195 La Liga and Champions League games since joining Madrid from Lyon in 2009, certainly falls into that category and would be an improvement on Olivier Giroud.
Giroud, an international teammate of Benzema, managed 14 goals in the Premier League last season as the Gunners finished third in the final table, 12 points behind runaway champions Chelsea.