Since Silva Gilberto left Arsenal in 2008, Arsenal have been lacking a solid holding midfielder, and this addition is planned to be done this summer as the Arsenal boss admitted they’re in for a defensive midfielder and a goalkeeper. Although the speculated move of Khedira to North London has collapsed due to high wage demands, reportedly £150,000 per week, which counterfeits with the club’s wage system.
Among the big names such as Sami Khedira, Morgan Schneiderlin or Luiz Gustavo, on the list appears the name of the Bayer 04 Leverkusen and German international Lars Bender. With Wenger thought to be monitoring both Bender brothers, his attention is focused mainly on Lars according to report, as Sven has admitted he’s enjoying his life at Borussia Dortmund. The arrival of Lars Bender at Arsenal can be the missing part to complete the puzzle, as he’s the perfect battler on the midfield. Signing him will finally sort Arsenal’s defensive midfield area.
Jeremy Wilson of The Telegraph has reported that Wenger is tremendously focused on ensuring he solves the defensive midfield of Arsenal and he is not leaving his eggs in one basket, as he seeks a more physical presence in the middle:
“Arsene Wenger is preparing to follow up the signing of Alexis Sanchez with a new holding midfielder and has made enquiries over this past week on Germany internationals Sami Khedira and Lars Bender.
Khedira has been one of the best midfielders at the World Cup and, although he has only got one year left on his contract at Real Madrid, the Champions League winners were reportedly demanding for £20 million while the player was reportedly demanding for in excess of £150,000 per week.
After having a £19 million bid rejected last summer, Wenger is also still a big admirer of Bender, who is younger and likely to be cheaper than Khedira. Bender was in Joachim Low’s provisional 30-man Germany World Cup squad but was forced to withdraw following a thigh injury.”
After spending big last summer for Mesut Ozil, and again for Alexis Sanchez, Wenger is no longer the rigorous manager who’s afraid to spend and this fact is sufficient to think he will go all in for Bender.
Lars possesses the finest qualities of a combative midfielder who likes to get involved in deeper areas, although, former Leverkusen boss Sami Hyypia pushed him to play further advanced last season. In comparison to Arsenal’s targets and the current midfielder Arteta, Bender seems as the ideal signing.
Given the trouble the attacking midfielder’s encountered last season to back-track, Lars Bender would provide the perfect comfort deeply in midfield, letting the attacking midfielders focus on unlocking the defences. Bender’s excellent positioning and his desire for the physical aspects of the game would make him a tremendous asset for Arsenal playing defensively.
Here are the stats showing the defensive ability of the German international:
However, it won’t be easy for Wenger to snatch Bender from the German side as Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller has stated his club has no intention to sell.
Although, Wenger can freely rely on the club’s satisfactory budget and manage to convince Voller to sell.