Cole: Benzema is the man
Former Manchester United and England striker Andrew ‘Andy’ Cole says that Sir Alex Ferguson should make a second attempt to sign Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema this summer. United failed with a bid for the French player, after the former Olympique Lyonnais striker opted to join the Spanish giants in a €35 million deal last June.
However, speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Cole says United’s over-reliance on 34-goal striker Wayne Rooney this season means Ferguson needs to dip into the transfer market.
“I think Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen’s injuries have proved that United do need another body in their strike force,” said Cole, who scored 121 goals for United.
“It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the manager brings somebody in to add to the players he has. But the question is who do you buy?”
“I was speaking to Sir Alex Ferguson last summer at his charity golf day and we were talking about the fact there are no No9s around these days.”
“There are a lot of No10s, the playmakers who make things happen, about. But traditional goalscoring strikers are few and far between.”
“Everyone has got the same dilemma. There are hardly any of them about. I look around the world, there’s Fernando Torres, Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto’o in that No9 style, and then I’m struggling to name anyone else.”
“Torres at Liverpool is a real old-fashioned English centre-forward. He’s a throwback but you don’t get many of them in England these days let alone from Europe. He is definitely a bit of a one-off.”
“Karim Benzema is not identical to Torres but I think he is the nearest you might get to him. I think he is fantastic. He has great ability.”
“I know Sir Alex wanted him last summer and if he can go back and try again and the lad decided he’d have more chance at Old Trafford then I think that would be really interesting.”
“It’s what United need.”
Whether Ferguson has the money to fund a deal is open to debate, with Benzema likely to cost more than £25 million. The Frenchman’s signature would add to the seven strikers already in the club’s first team squad.