Over the last month Arsenal were heavily linked with German international Lars Bender with manager Arsene Wenger said to like him a lot.
To be honest, what’s not to like?
Since 2009 Bender has played in 114 matches for Bayer Leverkusen. He has a high pass success percentage of 81.1% over the first six Bundesliga games of the season.
In a star studded German international midfield Lars Bender still could set himself apart and surpassed his twin brother Borussia Dortmund’s Sven Bender only because he is a little bit more versatile. Lars Bender rewarded Joachim Low's trust with the match-winning goal against Denmark in Euro 2012.
So there is much to like.
The question might be: Why would Bayer Leverkusen sell one of their team cornerstones? They won’t.
That’s what Leverkusen’s sporting director and German international legend Rudi Voller said to German newspaper Bild. “We are not selling Lars, besides we have not even got an offer.”
English newspapers are denying the last part of Voller’s sentence. Daily Mail wrote yesterday that the £18.5 million offer by Arsenal FC was rejected last summer. Now the Gunners are preparing for a second £20 million worth bid.
With Bender’s market value being at roughly £20 million the 24-year-old has probably more value for Bayer Leverkusen than that.
That’s why Rudi Voller rejects Arsenal’s offer. Either way Lars Bender’s contract expires not until June 2017. So it may be time to look at alternatives.
What do you think? Should Arsenal continue to pursue a signing of Bender? Or is this dream over?