For Arsenal, day one of the Premier League couldn’t have gone much worse. A home defeat to Aston Villa is a bad enough, but when you chuck in a red card, injuries and a crushing lack of confidence onto the pile, it’s clear just what a mess the club is now in.
The result itself wasn’t all that surprising in the end. Arsenal fans have been clamouring for signings all summer, yet the club has sat still. They’ve made stagnation the order of the day and now that the season has started the club is paying for it.
Each one of Aston Villa’s three goals is an Arsenal chicken coming home to roost.
But let’s not dwell on the past. It’s clear that mistakes have been made. From here on in, it’s all about how Arsene Wenger and co. try to deal with them.
Given the club’s current situation, there may be some temptation to go out and panic buy. I can only hope that this doesn’t happen and that the club continues to pursue top transfer talents who would make an immediate impact in the Premier League.
This brings me to The Mirror‘s suggestion that Arsenal are ready to go back for Lards Bender. The Gunners made a £19m bid for the Bayer Leverkusen star two months ago, but this wasn’t enough to get their man.
How much it would take to convince Leverkusen to sell is unclear. But the Gunners would have to smash their £15m transfer record to make a deal happen.
That’s a lot of money to spend on one player, but I’d argue that this is a signing that Arsenal need to make. Saturday’s performance provided ample evidence that the Gunners back-four do not have the protection they need. Players are constantly being caught out and it’s far too easy to run at this Arsenal defense and reek havoc.
The Gunners need a disciplined, energetic, physical presence like Bender in the centre-of-the-park, breaking up play and providing the team with balance.
The great thing about Bender is that he can combine defensive nous with a good range of passing and some smart attacking play. He’s the kind of defensive midfielder who would fit in well in this Arsenal side.
I’d say it’s about time that Arsenal put their money where their mouth is.
What’s your take? Should Arsene Wenger look to seal a deal for Lars Bender?
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