Christian Benteke
Christian Benteke would turn Arsenal into serious title contenders, Mark Lawrenson argues.

Mark Lawrenson has argued that Arsenal will become serious title contenders if they convince Tottenham target Christian Benteketo move to the Emirates in the January transfer window.

Benteke has long been on Spurs' wishlist and came close to a move in the summer when he handed in a transfer request. Aston Villa fought hard to hold onto the 22-year-old but Paul Lambert has admitted that if the right bid came in they would find it more difficult to keep him at the club.

The striker has continued to be an integral player for Villa this season but Lawrenson firmly believes that Arsenal should enter the race to sign the Belgian.

"Their chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, has made it known that they are looking at signing another striker in January," Lawrenson wrote in the Mirror.

"If I were Wenger I'd give Aston Villa whatever they want for Christian Benteke.

"What an option he would give them - particularly with the chances they would create for him.

"He needn't worry about not getting game-time during the second half of the season in World Cup year. Olivier Giroud can't possibly play every game with Arsenal fighting for silverware on several fronts.

"Benteke would share the load, bully defences and give the Gunners the depth up front that they need."

Though Arsenal have been flying in the Premier League they failed a big test at the weekend against Manchester United, with Arsene Wenger having to call on out-of-form forward Nicklas Bendtner during the match as he looked for more attacking options.

Wenger has constantly insisted that Bendtner can get back to his best for the Gunners but with the striker still saying he wishes he left the club it would appear that his days are numbered at the Emirates.

And with Benteke already being tempted by a move away from Villa - though he signed a new deal with the club in summer as part of a bumper pay rise - Arsenal could be in the mix for his signature if they are willing to offer the £25m fee.