Chelsea don’t seem as though they are going to move David Luis out of the defence and the imminent arrival of Andre Schurrle on a long term deal, means the midfield is going to be the pressing area for concern this summer.
Chelsea have an array of attacking stars that many other sides can only dream of when it comes to middle men, but they do not have a dominant holding player who can completely takeover John Obi Mikel’s achievements at Stamford Bridge.
Lars Bender, the brother at Bayer Leverkusen not Borussia Dortmund, is a name that has been linked with Manchester United this season but Chelsea must go all out to trigger his release clause (thought to be in the region of £12-17 million) before Sir Alex Ferguson can react.
Chelsea aren’t too far away from having a very good side, capable of mounting a serious push for the Premier League title and Bender is certainly one player who will make them a better unit all round.
The reason Bender is a better defensive midfield option than Mikel, Michael Essien or Oriol Romeu is the simple fact that technically, he is a much better footballer than any player in that trio.
His fitness and his vision are two of the main reasons United were reportedly ready to break the bank for him earlier in the summer and reasons why Chelsea have to get the first blow in and try to tempt him to London.
He’s also been brought up around a system at Bayer Leverkusen which is based around team work and linking with the back four, to move the ball through the midfield and up to the attack very quickly.
His technique means he can be just as effective on the ball as any of Chelsea’s influential attacking midfielders such as Eden Hazard or Juan Mata, with the difference being he’s not going to try and thread balls through to the forwards but simply give it to a player in a better position.
His effect for Bayer Leverkusen this season has been so high that he’s been able to break into the German national team and hold a place, not having played for either of the two heavyweights in German football.
This is a good value and sensible deal which Chelsea should seriously consider because United won’t think twice about triggering that release clause if they are told to do so because this is a player who could go for serious money.
Chelsea have to keep constantly looking at ways to improve their midfield because they are not going to have the reliability of Frank Lampard next season, unless Chelsea make good on recent reports and get him on a new rolling contact.
The only possible problem is the fact that Leverkusen may not want to sell to Chelsea again so shortly after doing a deal for Schurrle but if the Blues trigger that release clause, they may have no choice in the matter.
Is Bender the man for Chelsea’s midfield?
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