Earlier I suggested that a reason behind the potential departure of Mikel Arteta was because Arsenal were targeting fresh faces in that department. I argued that Arteta shouldn’t be sold if the Gunners do sign a new holding midfielder and I will stand by that point even if we see someone new in Arsenal colours.
The North London club have since been linked with a move for Lars Bender. The Express have reported that the Gunners are ready to test Bayer Leverkusen’s resolve with a bid for their prized possession. It is clear that Bender is a player that interests Arsene Wenger, as the publication mentioned that Arsenal were hot on his heels last summer, eventually having a £15 million bid rejected. They have now increased that bid by £6 million in the hope that Leverkusen will tempted by the new offer.
If Arsenal do manage to get their hands on the German star then I think their midfield will be complete. More depth may be required, but a starting trio of Bender, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil looks very dangerous on paper. Bender will give the midfield a good balance, but will be able to cover more ground than Arteta due to his superior athleticism.
The Germany international is a very intelligent player and has been a stalwart for the Bundesliga outfit for many years. He is perhaps the less famous of the Bender twins, but in no way less talented. The 25-year-old has everything the Gunners want in a midfielder as demonstrated time and time again in his career at Leverkusen.