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Karim Benzema raised a smile on more than one front for Real Madrid fans on Monday

Not only did the French forward return to training alongside his team-mates, he also poured cold water over reports linking him with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu by pledging his future to the club.

Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Benzema wrote on Twitter: "For all those clowns who want to make believe things at my fans. Here this is my home! #HalaMadridYNadaMas." Alongside his words, the French international posted a ‘thumbs up' picture inside the Valdebebas changing room after returning to take part in some of Monday's recovery session.

His comments all-but ended speculation linking him with a move away from the Spanish capital, namely to Premier League Arsenal, although that talk will not be completely nipped in the bud until the summer transfer window slams shut in just under a weeks' time.

The sight of Benzema back out on the training pitch and his words pledging his future to the club were timely. They came less than 24 hours after Madrid drew another blank in their La Liga opener at Sporting Gijon, a game in which the forward was badly missed.

It is always easy to leave a light shining on players who did not feature in a disappointing result. Those who did play did not cover themselves in glory and with respect to newly-promoted Sporting, a draw was a negative result for Madrid in the grand scheme of things. That they did not manage to find the back of the net will naturally leave fans wanting someone else involved in the attack.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale were joined by Jese Rodriguez in Benzema's absence from the season opener in Gijon and while the two star names came close to providing the breakthrough, Jese looks out-of-sorts playing in Benzema's role through the middle. The Las Palmas-born forward looks more natural and more dangerous out wide. Benzema was missed.

Now the former Lyon man looks set to make Rafa Benitez's squad for the team's first home match of the season against another newly-promoted side in Real Betis on Saturday night. Benzema's aim is to be fit and ready to face Pepe Mel's side and if all goes well his return will be a big boost for the team.

The No.9 isn't there to score goals by the bucket load, he isn't there to be Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese star will also fill his boots with goals wherever he plays in his team's attack but he needs the Frenchman alongside him to help him in his quest. Benzema is the glue that binds Madrid's attack, just like Sergio Ramos at the back and Luka Modric in the middle. He may not be the star of the front three but his role is key.

Madrid carved out plenty of chances at El Molinon but there was little fluidity, not only between the attack but from the midfield to the attacking trio. Benzema is a player who likes to search further down the pitch for the ball and that was missing at the weekend. The gap between the midfield and the attack was too big and Madrid suffered.

Ronaldo called Benzema the best striker in La Liga last season and it is easy to see why from his perspective He may not be a natural No.9, a poacher who will get the kind of goal tally Ronaldo can achieve, but he has the mentality to link everything up. He has the mentality to bind the front three and to make space for Ronaldo, and indeed Bale, to run on to. Unlike in the past, when he was often accused of being lazy, he now comes looking for the ball and makes space for others. He is the perfect partner for the Portugal international.

Benzema can sometimes go unnoticed when he's playing but he more often than not goes noticed when he is absent. The case in point came on Sunday night and while the saying goes that there's no smoke without fire, it's difficult to imagine that Benitez or president Florentino Perez had any intention of selling the Frenchman this summer. Without a suitable replacement, Madrid would have been in big trouble this season.

A lack of firepower had been highlighted after a hit-and-miss pre-season and now the spotlight will be on Madrid's attacking prowess even more so on Saturday night when Betis come to town. Goals may have been few and far between in La Liga over the opening weekend of the season but more is expected of this Madrid side, even if there has been an obvious lack of a ‘Galactico' signing this summer.

Jese has been used across the attack with mixed success as has Borja Mayoral but there are still question marks over Madrid as an attacking force without Benzema. Those questions will only intensity if Ronaldo is forced onto the sidelines. Bale has played as part of a front two over the summer but has not been convincing and Benitez seems him more playing in support of the striker.

The stalemate in Asturias did little for Benitez's image in Spain as a defensive coach. Madrid managed 27 shots on goal compared to Sporting's six, however, with eight of them hitting the target. Chances were created but the target wasn't hit. Still, a goalless draw at a newly-promoted team was not in the script, even if it was the opening match of the campaign.

The last time Madrid failed to score on the opening day of the season came in the 2010/11 campaign and that year they went on to score 102 goals. Betis will make the trip to the Spanish capital wary that their hosts need to impress in front of goal and with Benzema back in the starting eleven Madrid's goalscoring problems should swiftly be behind them.

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