Bayer Leverkusen’s Lars Bender is apparently a top target of ours this January, and has been linked with a move to North London for the last few transfer windows (via the Metro). And it seems as though we could finally get our man this January, with club chairman Michael Schade admitting that they may struggle to hold onto Bender, as reported by The Telegraph.
We’re badly in need of reinforcements in defensive midfield, more so than ever since Francis Coquelin’s injury (via Arsenal.com). Even before the Frenchman was ruled out we needed a new defensive midfielder, and there was fury when Arsene Wenger was either unwilling or unable to bring one in over the summer.
We were apparently close to an £18m deal for the German international after the World Cup (via the Metro), but nothing came to fruition.
Bender could be on his way to Arsenal in January though, and when asked about a potential transfer Schade certainly didn’t seem positive about his side’s chances of holding onto their stars.
“Bayer Leverkusen can’t be as arrogant to say that we are creating world stars and they will retire here,” said Schade.
“If we are able to create a world star or top player, then one day this player wants to play for one of the top [clubs in the world], of course.”
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The 26-year-old would be an excellent acquisition, as not only could he replace Coquelin when needed, but he could play alongside him or even at right back; such is his versatility.
Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta are totally incapable of doing a job anymore, and we’re left constantly exposed when either player starts in midfield. Wenger has to accept that both players are well past their primes, and we need young blood in midfield.
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Hopefully the stories are true, and Bender really is on his way to the Emirates in January. Because if we don’t make a couple of signings this winter it’s hard to see us challenging for the title.