Arsenal’s midfield will be extremely disappointed this morning after not making more of majority possession in the game against Borussia Dortmund last night.
Arsenal’s captain Mikel Arteta has come in for a lot of criticism following the 2-0 defeat in Germany, after examples in the game where he left his position, allowing Dortmund to exploit his lack of pace higher up the pitch.
In contrast, Sven Bender of Borussia Dortmund produced a textbook display of how to play as a holding midfielder, leaving Arsenal fans purring over his ability during and after the game.
The Gunners have been linked with Bender before but the structure of German football and Bayern Munich snapping up the best players on a consistent basis, will make him difficult to wrestle away from BVB any time soon.
Arsenal could look at trying to do a deal in the winter but with his contract not set to expire until 2017, BVB are under no pressure to get a deal done quickly.
One of the areas Arsene Wenger didn’t address during the summer transfer window was signing a new holding player and with Mathieu Flamini not even in the squad last night, Arsenal had no alternatives to Arteta in that position at the base of the midfield.
Calum Chambers could well have played there but he suffered with illness, which prevented him from training before the game and Wenger had no choice but to leave him out of the squad.
One of the main concerns relating to this Arsenal side over the past couple of seasons is the lack of presence and bite the team has in front of the defence. Arteta got swallowed up in a big game while someone the club could do a lot worse than trying to sign excelled.
Here’s what Arsenal fans made of Bender’s performance on Twitter.
Two summers ago, Bender price was £22m we offered 19 and left it (widely reported). This year, Carvalho. Cool story, Arsenal!— Arsene Wenger (@ArsendWenger) September 16, 2014
Arsenal shoulda signed Lars Bender when they had the chance— FlyBoy Veno (@VenoBigBars) September 16, 2014
In January, bring Bender or Khedira, we won't go far in CL anyway, sell Arteta, make Wilshere captain to give him confidence with this form.— ZƎDD (@ZeddTweeting) September 16, 2014
Arteta is DEAD, arsene needs to invest in like a bender or should splashed out for khedira— MrAmako (@MrAmako) September 16, 2014
Lars Bender or even Gustavo , don't know why wenger thinks Arteta or Flamini are good enough especially as CDM's— j (@onions_spicy) September 16, 2014
You sell arteta & sign a decent DM. Bender has looked class tonight— Jake Bryant (@jake_bryant14) September 16, 2014
Linked with carvalho, bender (both of them), khedira and then settled for a useless fake spainard named mikel arteta— Ed Riz (@riz_ed) September 16, 2014
Arteta is well past it! Atleast he looks that way! What would Arsenal give for Bender or Kehl right now!!— Adrian Moses (@adrianmozy) September 16, 2014
They've got Bender and we have Arteta probably the biggest difference.— #DW23 (@FUTSidd) September 16, 2014
see that lanky Sven Bender playing for Dortmund is a far better player than Arteta— Grammar Nazi Richard (@RichiyGraves) September 16, 2014
Arteta just lazily jogging around spraying short passes. Just look at Bender. Sigh.— Ifreke Inyang (@Ifreke) September 16, 2014
Literally getting shown a masterclass DM performance by Sven Bender while we got Arteta fouling endlessly— I'm Tehsin you ain't (@TFC2910) September 16, 2014