Arsenal are reportedly preparing an improved offer for Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender, according to reports in the Daily Mail.
The 24 year old has been hugely impressive in the Bundesliga with Leverkusen in recent years and was on our radar last summer, however has since signed a new contract with the German club until 2019.
The report suggests that Wenger and his backroom team have been hugely impressed with the German international for over a year and see him as the ideal physical presence to allow their attacking midfielders to perform. The Gunners chief scout Steven Rowley, has watched Bender on several occasions this year.
It further states that Wenger is also keen on Borussia Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan, but realises he’ll be extremely difficult to acquire, while Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin is also under serious consideration.
The Gunners have a strong midfield filled with creative players that fit Wenger’s mentality, but the team lacks an enforcer who can keep opposing midfielders at bay. Mikel Arteta will be turning 32 before the end of the season while Flamini isn’t getting any younger and while they are still capable of playing at the highest level, the search for a future replacement is reportedly on.
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Bender is one of the better box-to-box midfielders in all Europe and seems to be ready for the step up to the next level. He has high work rate, can dictate the game from deep midfield areas and also can stop opponent attacks with his timely interceptions and well judged tackles.
His explosive runs and cutting passes are an added bonus, making him a unpredictable threat in midfield who can play in almost any formation. He would be an excellent addition and he’s not only capable of doing the dirty work in front of the back four, but he’s also comfortable on the ball and has a physical presence about him.
With Bender around, Wenger wouldn’t have to worry about his midfield’s inability to provide cover for attackers running right at the defence and Ozil in particular could focus on distributing the ball and creating chances. I’d be delighted if we could get Bender and if we throw in a top class finisher too then we will definitely have more chance at the title next season.
Should Bender replace Arteta? Share your thoughts in the comments below.