Arsenal should write Leverkusen a blank cheque for Bender

Arsenal Emirates 2

Arsenal should seriously consider paying whatever Bayer Leverkusen want for Lars Bender.

They should be looking to go way beyond their £18.5 million opening bid because he’s a player that could improve the current crop of central midfielders at the club and possibly make Jack Wilshere an even better player.

It would also provide an opportunity for Arsenal to prove they are seriously about tooling up ahead of the new season after statements about financial strength which haven’t quite dissolved the lingering doubts over whether Arsenal can win a trophy next season.

Plenty of Arsenal fans will point to the fact that the club is crammed full of talented central midfielders which could make the signing of Bender problematic.

However, it’s Wilshere and Santi Cazorla who would both benefit from Bender’s presence in a very big way.

The German is the sort of player that would play the Michael Carrick role in Arsenal’s team; holding a central midfield position, breaking up the opposition play and putting in a variety of tackles.

That would then release Wilshere and Cazorla to get forward and focus entirely on their attacking and creative duties, without so much emphasis on having to track back and help out the defence.

The discipline Bender shows is significant here because in the Bundesliga last season, he was only booked once which is a tribute to his timing and consistency.

That means Arsene Wenger can simply put his name down on the team sheet straight away as the man to protect the back four and he can use the crop of very talented creative players to base around his new signing.

The only worrying stat linked to Bender’s game is that he gives away just under two fouls in key positions in every single match, which will have to come down when he plays for the Gunners.

Arsenal are a team that like to pin their opponents inside their own half of the pitch, building pressure over them inside the final third and that good attacking work can’t be wasted at the other end of the field.

Bender was a player touted as the perfect holding player for Manchester United so the fact Arsenal have got in their first and seem to be in a position where they can snap up the 24-year-old for a higher fee if they are forced to pay it is significant.

Any way Arsenal can take a little bit of pressure off of the Wilshere-Cazorla duo is worth looking at because that combination could easily be the most impressive and productive attacking midfield pair next season.

What do you make of Arsenal’s bid for Bender? How much should they pay for him?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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