Arsenal's attempts to sign Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema were "embarrassing" according to Ian Wright, after the club slumped to defeat in their Champions League opener against Dinamo Zagreb. Olivier Giroud was sent off as the Gunners lost 2-1 in the Croatian capital, leading to further questions over the failure of Arsene Wenger to sign a striker during the summer transfer window.
Giroud's dismissal leaves the Gunners with just one senior striker for their next European outing against Olympiakos in the form of Theo Walcott, with Danny Welbeck out until Christmas after undergoing knee surgery. The north Londoners were the only club in the top five divisions in Europe not to sign an outfield player in the summer and Wenger has come in for criticism for the failure to add to his attack.
The closest Arsenal seemingly came to signing a forward came in the form of their pursuit of Benzema. Talksport had understood that the club had agreed a £48m ($75m) deal for the France international, however a post via his official Instagram page confirmed his intention to remain in the Spanish capital. Amid an imminent crisis in attack, former Gunners record goalscorer Wright has slammed the club's approach in the transfer window.
"The whole Benzema thing was quiet embarrassing for Arsenal, the way they pursued it," he told BT Sport. "Trying to get a player like that, you find out right off the bat 'are you interested?' If you're interested then we'll pursue it. I thought the way they dealt with that was pretty bad in the end. He mugged Arsenal off in the end on Twitter. It wasn't good.
"I didn't find him stubborn when I was in the team, maybe because the team we had picked itself with the back five. As the years have gone by without [former Arsenal vice-chairman] David Dein there helping him with who he is going to buy with the advice he has turned into someone who is stubborn. I think a lot of deals have not happened because of the stalling and dithering."