Arsenal have reportedly began talks over the potential signing of Bayer Leverkusen defensive midfielder Lars Bender, according to reports in the Metro.
The North London club are in desperate need of a holding midfield and identified the German as a possible candidate. The midfielder recently expressed his desire to stay in La Liga and has had no further talks with any other club.
The report states that the Gunners are ready to try and sign Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender after seeing a January move for Sami Khedira collapse. Arsenal looked set to finally sign Khedira in the new year, having nearly got him in the summer, but despite terms reportedly being agreed, the switch has collapsed with the Madrid star now ready to wait until the summer to decide his future.
It further states that the Emirates club have now have reacted to the news by changing targets back to Bender, with Wenger expected to make a new approach to bring him to north London. The German club have previously rejected a bid from Arsenal for the German international.
Bender is a strong tackler, at his best at the base of midfield, just in front of the back four. He also boasts ample energy, along with the intelligence to push forward when the situation merits. It’s fair to say few, if any, players in the current Arsenal midfield combine those qualities.
He could be thee answer to Arsenal’s need for some physicality and defensive nous in midfield, both qualities are sorely lacking among the current Gunners contingent and have been since Wenger sold Vieira to Juventus in 2005. The Bundesliga club are sitting sixth in the table at present, and missing out on Champions League football could force their hand into selling.
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