We’re badly in need of a defensive midfielder this January, especially in the wake of Francis Coquelin’s nasty injury (via Arsenal.com). One particular player looks to be off the list however, as long-term target Lars Bender is set to undergo surgery to fix a recurring ankle problem, as reported by German publication Bild.
The Bayer Leverkusen midfielder has seemingly been one of our top targets over the years, and has consistently been linked with a move to North London in every transfer window (via The Independent).
You’d assume Arsene Wenger would be unlikely to bring in a player who has only just undergone surgery, but after our loan deal for Kim Kallstrom – a player who had a broken back when we signed him – you never know what to expect from Wenger.
Bender would be an excellent signing, as the German international has been superb for club and country over the years. He has kept out other excellent players such as Christoph Kramer, and if it weren’t for his injury concerns he’d be continuing to do so. There are plenty of other defensive midfield options out there though, despite Wenger’s scepticism over the January transfer window.
We can’t afford to use things like this as an excuse, as failing to sign a dedicated defensive midfielder this winter could end our season. Coquelin has become massively important to our side, and without him we are badly lacking that grit in the centre of the park.
Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini just aren’t up to the task anymore, at least not to the standard required at Arsenal. We can’t leave ourselves short in depth heading into the second half of the season, or we can kiss goodbye to the title.
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Hopefully Wenger has a number of other targets he can turn to, and wasn’t putting all his eggs in one basket.