Of all the panic buys made by Arsene Wenger last summer, loaning Yossi Benayoun from Chelsea may have been the most bizarre. He was clearly deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge and for the Gunner’s to be scrapping up the Blue’s leftovers smacked of desperation. As is often the case with an Arsene Wenger signing, the decision has been vindicated – though it took some time.
He’s been utilised mostly as a squad player featuring 16 times in the Premier League and 23 times in total this season grabbing 4 goals. What’s more, it took him a good deal of time to settle into this Arsenal side and it’s only really been in the second half of the season that we’ve seen what he can offer.
The question remains, however: should Arsenal seek to tie him down with a permanent deal?
Yossi himself clearly has no idea where his future lies: “After June 30, I am going back to Chelsea and then the club and I need to decide. Each one has to think what is best for them.” That there is the sound of a door being left open – but I have little doubt that he’d sign for Arsenal were they to offer him a contract. He also went on to speak about how he struggled to get into the team and how he’s finally established himself:
“When I came, I believed in myself that I could play more. I knew there are a lot of quality players but I was ready. It is the job of the manager to decide who plays but because I was so patient and I always give 100 per cent it is now coming right for me. I came into the team and we beat Manchester City and last night we won and I scored. I really want to keep my place.”
It’s my opinion that he’s earned his place in this Arsenal team. In my estimation he’s above Gervinho in the pecking order and since Arsene isn’t interested in giving the Ox game time, Benayoun is clearly the right man for the job.
He looked sparky against Wolves, took his goal well and he works extremely hard. He’s also maintained an extremely professional demeanour throughout his time with the Gunners. He’s ambitious enough to want more game time, but controlled enough to wait for his moment and thankfully he rose to the occasion when he needed to.
If Chelsea are willing to let him go for £3-5m, I think it’d be a good deal for the Gunners. Arsenal need quality squad players and Benayoun is certainly the kind of player who can come in and do a good job when necessary.
What’s your take? Would Benayoun make a good permanent addition to this Arsenal squad?
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