Potential loan destinations for Karim Benzema in January transfer window – ranked

With a Ballon d’Or, eight league titles, five UEFA Champions Leagues and over 400 goals to his name, Karim Benzema left European football behind in the summer of 2023.

Instead of signing a new deal with Real Madrid, the legendary forward opted to join the Saudi Arabian revolution instead – putting pen to paper on a deal said to be worth £172m-per-year at Al Ittihad.

With his Saudi side lingering disappointingly in mid-table however, outlandish reports have now claimed that Benzema could be on his way back to Europe on loan this January.

Here are the clubs who should be looking to sign him.

Karim BenzemaKarim Benzema

Is it a possibility? / Eric Alonso/GettyImages

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we hear you. There’s no way in a million years that Benzema joins Madrid’s arch rivals on loan. We know. We get it.

The reason Barca are worth mentioning on this list though is that they’re probably the club that needs Benzema the most right now.

With Robert Lewandowski struggling to get a kick of the ball up top, Barcelona are in dire need of an attacker that can create and link-up play, and there’s very few forwards in the history of football that are better than Benzema at doing exactly that.

A front line of Lewandowski and Benzema would be legendary.

Likelihood: 1/10

Mikel ArtetaMikel Arteta

Arsenal are struggling in front of goal / Alex Pantling/GettyImages

In their last three games in all competitions, Arsenal mustered a whopping 63 shots on goal yet scored just one measly goal.

That is bloody atrocious.

With Kai Havertz, Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah all failing to cut the mustard up front for the Gunners, it’s pretty clear that Mikel Arteta needs a consistent and reliable goalscorer if his team are going to make a genuine assault on the Premier League title this season.

Benzema is exactly the sort of player they need, but one that they probably won’t give too much thought to.

Likelihood: 2/10

Rasmus Hojlund, Marcus RashfordRasmus Hojlund, Marcus Rashford

Rashford and Hojlund have struggled this season / Maja Hitij/GettyImages

Manchester United came within a whisker of signing Benzema way back in 2009, and 15 years later, the now-36-year-old would still be a fine addition to the club’s frontline.

The Red Devils have thoroughly struggled in front of goal this season, thanks in large part to having just one recognised striker on the books, and said striker being eight years old.

To take the pressure of Rasmus Hojlund for the rest of the season, Benzema would be a clever loan signing to make this January.

Likelihood: 3/10

Mauricio PochettinoMauricio Pochettino

Another incoming? / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Another injury to Christopher Nkunku has led to Chelsea being linked with potential loan moves for either Benzema or Roberto Firmino.

Both players are better than what the Blues currently have up front (Nicolas Jackson and Armando Broja), so in theory both would make for shrewd acquisitions – the sort of acquisitions Todd Boehly hasn’t exactly been known for during his tenure as Chelsea owner.

Likelihood: 4/10

Karim BenzemaKarim Benzema

Club legend / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Less than a year after his shock departure, the most obvious European loan destination remains Real Madrid.

Benzema had been offered a new contract at the Santiago Bernabeu prior to his departure in June, and would’ve been a key player for Carlo Ancelotti’s side had he put pen to paper.

Madrid haven’t really missed a beat since his departure thanks to the wonderful form of Jude Bellingham, but the added big-match experience and quality that Benzema can bring would be valuable in the knockout rounds of the UEFA Champions League. Besides, their only other natural striker is Joselu.

Likelihood: 6/10

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