Karim Benzema Real Madrid
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema celebrates after scoring against Rayo Vallecano, November 2. Reuters

Arsenal need to buy Karim Benzema in the January transfer window if they want to compete for titles this season, according to Newcastle legend Alan Shearer.

The Gunners are in the market for a new striker, someone who will add quality to the squad and help reduce the burden on Olivier Giroud, who has started every single English Premier League and Champions League game this season.

Benzema, Luis Suarez, Alexandre Pato and Demba Ba are just some of the names that have been linked with a move in January, with Arsene Wenger thought to be especially keen on the first two.

Suarez remains Wenger's first choice, but there is little to no chance of Liverpool selling their best player in January, and that too to a Premier League rival.

Benzema is someone that the Arsenal manager has admired for several years, and with the France international struggling to make an impact with Real Madrid this season, a move in January has been mooted, with Suarez possibly moving to Spain in his stead.

Shearer believes Arsenal, currently top of the Premier League table, two points clear of Liverpool, desperately need a backup for Giroud - something that was starkly visibly when Nicklas Bendtner was the option available for Wenger as Arsenal were chasing the game at Old Trafford against Manchester United - and a big-name at that to stay in the title hunt in the Premier League and Champions League among others.

"I've tended to stay with what I said earlier in the season that, up to now, I don't think Arsenal will win it, but if they went out and made a big statement come January and were to get someone like Benzema and carried on the form," the former England international said.

"They looked a bit leggy, they looked a little bit lethargic on Sunday at Old Trafford, and there wasn't the fizz and the buzz around the midfield we have seen in recent games. Giroud, as well, he has had a very good start, but he looked a bit leggy on Sunday.

"They have had a fantastic start, you can't deny that, but if you were to give them a world class centre-forward like Benzema then people might have to start revising their opinion."

If Wenger can pull off a major striker signing in January, so difficult to do during the winter transfer window, then Arsenal will seriously have a strong enough squad capable of capturing that elusive trophy which has evaded them for so many years now.