Mesut Ozil is one of the most high profile midfielders currently in and out of the side at Spanish champions Real Madrid, he is established, he has a reputation and he is a greatly valued player. Lars Bender has been a stand out performer for Bayer Leverkusen this season as they attack Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga.
They are both very different players. Ozil would appeal to Manchester United because of his established reputation in the game and because he is a very creative player. The current absence of Shinji Kagawa in the United side means a move for Ozil is more likely and it would certainly develop the passing side of United’s game.
Lars Bender is a very young player making a name for himself in German football. He is more of a heavyweight player, someone United would use to protect the back four and to get stuck in throughout any intense match to try and break up the opposition play. He would be more of an investment than anything else but he is certainly a player that United need.
In terms of their roles at each club, Bender seems to be more valued by Bayer Leverkusen. He has started every single league game for the club this season as opposed to Ozil who has made 11 starts and two sub appearances for Real Madrid. This suggests that any price United put forward for Bender is likely to be inflated by his parent club.
There is no difference between the two players in terms of their goal scoring this season and their creativity. Both players have scored one goal but Ozil has one more assist which is what you would expect from a more creative player. These stats will naturally go up as he plays more and more.
Bender would probably benefit more from playing with and around the current players at United. The German game is different from the game in England whereas Ozil is used to a pass and move culture in Spain and it’s fair to suggest that Bender is more physically equipped to cope with the brutality and physical nature of English football.
United will need to bring someone in because Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs are not going to play forever. It would seem that Bender has the slight edge in this head to head because he can offer United something unique which they don’t already have, an enforcer.