In their last warm-up game before the World Cup starts, France made very light work of Caribbean side Jamaica on Sunday night. After losing Franck Ribery to injury, Didier Deschamps tweaked his line-up and picked Arsenal summer target Karim Benzema to join Olivier Giroud and Mathieu Valbuena in the front three, and there are little doubts for now that the change was a positive move. All three were superb in the 8-0 win, and it would have given Arsene Wenger some food for thought as he weighs up his transfer plans this summer.
Despite finishing with 17 goals for Real Madrid in the league, he only scored three times in the last 11 La Liga matches, and went 13 games without a goal for Los Blancos in all competitions. Doubts over how fit he was after missing the two earlier friendlies sparked some worries, but Benzema banished all the doubters and slotted into the front-line effortlessly and his all-round play was dazzling at times during the game.
With France 2-0 up in the first-half, Benzema got into the act by curling a beautiful shot from just inside the box, past the helpless Jamaican goalkeeper and into the far corner. And the goal was the least that he deserved, his link up play with Giroud, Blaise Matuidi and Valbuena had been lively and encouraging.
The pre-game line-up showed Benzema on the left, Valbuena on the right and Giroud in the centre, but this was only as rigid on paper, all three rotated and moved around the pitch. At times Benzema would be the most central with Valbuena on the left and Giroud on the right, even allowing Valbuena to drop deep and watch the midfield trio bomb forward into the space provided.
It was a stunning free-flowing performance from the French attack. Benzema added a second after the break when the Jamaican defence gave him far too much time outside the box and the former Lyon man smashed a shot in top corner.
Arsenal fans would have been excited by France’s fourth goal. Charging forward on a fast break, Benzema pealed left, and with some day-light, he played the perfect cross for Giroud and the centre-forward made no mistake.
As Wenger weighs up the forward targets he should target this summer, he will have watched both Antoine Griezmann and Benzema link up well with his centre-forward. The Arsenal boss must feel like a kid in a candy store. Now he just has to make a decision and bring one of the duo to the Emirates.