Forget Bellarabi, Arsenal must sign his Leverkusen teammate Lars Bender instead

Bay Arena - Bayer Leverkusen

Arsenal have been linked with Bayer Leverkusen’s Karim Bellarabi.

According to German publication SportBild (as reported by the Daily Star), Arsenal are interested in signing winger Karim Bellarabi from Bayer Leverkusen during the January transfer window.

The 25-year-old has had a productive season thus far, appearing in all 12 Bundesliga matches and contributing with two goals and an assist.

Bellarabi has plenty of ability, but his best position is arguably on the right wing and it’s an area where the Gunners have plenty of options in Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joel Campbell.

Arsenal could do with another addition or two in January, but not in an attacking position.

The Gunners are well placed to challenge for the Premier League title, but an injury to either Santi Cazorla, or worse, Francis Coquelin could seriously hinder them further in the campaign.

Aside from former Charlton Athletic loan star Coquelin, Arsene Wenger lacks top quality defensive options in the middle of the park with Mathieu Flamini a worry in those so-called big clashes.

Bellarabi wouldn’t contribute much to Arsenal’s title hilt, but his teammate Lars Bender certainly could.

The German international is renowned in the Bundesliga as one of the best defensive midfielders around, consistently performing to an exceptional standard at the BayArena.

In seven league starts this season, Bender has averaged a superb 4.9 tackles, 3.7 interceptions and 1.6 effective clearances per league match – figures comparable with the very best in Germany.

The Gunners have been linked with the 26-year-old before, with the Mirror reporting last summer that scouts of the North London outfit were tracking both Lars and his brother Sven.

The introduction of Bender could relieve the pressure off Coquelin and Cazorla, while in those big-game clashes away from home opting for all three would be a sound choice.

Many have said that Arsenal will come up short due to not having a world-class striker or a defensive partner for Laurent Koscielny, but it’s in midfield where they desperately need more options.

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