Arsenal linked with big-money La Liga star, not named Benzema

For the fifth time in six Premier League seasons, Arsenal’s campaign launched with a whimper as the Gunners slid to a 2-0 defeat at home to West Ham on the opening day.

Although the side’s title-winning balloon hasn’t completely burst inside the first 90 minutes of action, their price to win the division with Ladbrokes eased from 4/1 to 5s after the loss.

With a reported wedge available for Arsene Wenger to spend in the transfer market, calls for the Frenchman to flash some of the club’s cash have grown louder in the fallout from the Hammers defeat.

As a result, a player long linked with a switch to the Emirates has resurfaced among the morning’s gossip columns, although it isn’t likely to be the man Gunners fans are hankering for.

Sevilla midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak is the player at the centre of Arsenal’s transfer news and, sadly for Gooners, not Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema.

The Polish international has been a media-reported target of the north London club for the past 18 months and could now be the subject of a £22m bid from Arsenal, according the Daily Telegraph.

That figure, the paper suggests, would be enough to meet Sevilla’s buy-out clause for the player, but would perhaps only further flood an area of the pitch Wenger’s squad is well stocked in, rather than address a more obvious need.

Many observers see Benzema as the final piece of the puzzle for Arsenal, adding a genuine star striker to a raft of talented attacking midfielders.

However, Wenger clearly thinks it’s at the defensive end where his side need recruits, with Krychowiak a back-four shielding player of Francis Coquelin’s ilk.

Having seen their only major signing of the summer arrive and promptly flop on debut, Arsenal fans will hope any new arrivals will better Petr Cech’s first competitive outing for the club.

Their campaign moves onto a 8/11-rated trip to Crystal Palace.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.