Hamann tells Arsenal: Forget Gundogan, sign this German star instead

Lars Bender

Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan.

Former Liverpool ace Dietmar Hamann has told The Mirror that Arsenal should forget about signing Ilkay Gundogan and instead bring in fellow German star Lars Bender.

Many observers feel that for the Gunners to challenge for the Premier League title a new central midfielder is an absolute necessity given their struggles to press the opposition.

Former Arsenal star Paul Merson explained in his column for The Daily Star at the weekend how the Gunners are the worst team in the league when out of possession – a claim which is difficult to argue against.

Dortmund’s Gundogan has been sounded out as a possibility to solve the dilemma, according to The Daily Star, but Hamann believes that Wenger should instead opt one of the Bender brothers, preferably Lars.

“There are players out there, who would instantly make Arsenal a better team. They are supposed to be looking at Ilkay Gundogan at Borussia Dortmund. He’s a very good footballer – but he’s a typical Arsenal player,” he told The Mirror.

“He won’t want to do the dirty work. His instinct is to join in further up the pitch, get a few forward passes going and try to weigh in with a few goals.

“For me, Arsenal would be much better served, going for one of the Bender brothers, especially Lars. Either of those boys would give Wenger something he hasn’t got in midfield.

"Someone who can read the game, is ­naturally defensively minded and who will thrive, operating in front of the back four, making sure Arsenal don’t get exposed.”

Lars Bender currently plies his trade with Bayer Leverkusen and has been the subject of a rejected bid from the North Londoners in the past, as reported by The Guardian.

The 25-year-old has started 14 Bundesliga matches this season, averaging three tackles, 3.1 interceptions and 2.6 effective clearances per match according to statistical website Whoscored.com.

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