Up until the very moment that Arsene Wenger pulled off the remarkable signing of Real Madrid star, Mesut Ozil, Arsenal fans had been in a right huff. There had been a world of discontent over Wenger’s unwillingness to spend cash.
This was made worse thanks to an opening day defeat to Aston Villa. Then, of course, Tottenham poured salt on the wounds, by signing all and sundry, as the Gunners sat still and stagnated.
Whilst Arsenal trumped Spurs in the end by signing Mesut Ozil, the Mathieu Flamini deal was (at the time) considered further evidence that Wenger didn’t know what he was doing.
It was the club’s second free signing of the summer and seemed to suggest that Arsenal weren’t ambitious enough to succeed this season.
In all honesty, however, it’s been like he’s never left. The industrious Frenchman is a tenacious talent, who has the drive and energy to play the deep-lying role in Arsenal’s midfield.
His performance against Spurs spoke for itself (especially the tackle that earned him what’s sure to be the first of many yellow cards during his second stint in an Arsenal shirt). I’m somewhat glad to see him back.
But it’s worth pointing out that he’ll be 30-years-old before the end of the season. Given, the rugged, combative career he’s already had, I think it’s fair to say that he’s not a long-term option.
According to The Star, Arsene Wenger has issued instructions to his scouts to keep an eye on Bender. It’s also suggested that Wenger will launch a £25m bid for the German midfielder this January, following an £18.5m bid earlier this summer.
That’s a lot of money to spend on a 24-year-old, but I can’t help but feel that he’d be worth it. Despite his young age, he’s already established himself as one of the very best holding midfielders in world football, thanks to his discipline, tough tackling and accurate passing.
I might question whether Arsenal really need to sign another midfielder at this stage, but Bender is likely to be around for a while. Signing him now, when he’s only likely to get better and better is a good move.
He’ll make the Gunners more competitive and provide ample protection for the back-four. I’d certainly be excited to see him arrive at the Emirates.
What’s your take? Should Arsenal look to sign Lars Bender?
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