With Arsene Wenger signing a new three-year contract and the club winning their first trophy in almost a decade, the Gunners couldn’t have hoped for a better end to the season. It might just get even better if the news that Arsenal are looking at Borussia Dortmund’s 25-year-old defensive midfielder Sven Bender is indeed true. While the return of Fabregas might make for better headlines, but on footballing terms there is no doubt that Sven Bender would be the perfect move this summer.
Having earlier been rejected by his twin-brother Lars Bender, Arsene Wenger is keen to bring the German international to the Emirates to shore up the midfield, which was, at times easily overrun last season. The Gunners might have a first refusal clause for Fabregas, but the fact they have already have so many attacking midfielders means that the Spaniard would only be a luxury signing and not one that they need right now.
Arsene Wenger has recently distanced himself from the Spaniard and is now focusing his attentions on the 25-year-old to provide some cover for the ageing legs of Mikel Arteta. Having earlier been snubbed by the more attack-minded Lars Bender, Wenger has made it clear that it is defensively that the Gunners need to improve, especially in midfield. As a result, he has set his sights on one half of Dortmund’s double midfield pivot of Sahin and Sven.
The more defensive minded of the duo, the German international has won rave reviews for his performances in shielding the back four and providing the Dortmund attack with a solid foundation. It is this foundation that the Gunners have found difficult to establish in the recent past. As good as Arteta is, he isn’t known being physically robust and tenacious in the tackle.
At 6’1, the German international would bring some much needed height and strength to Arsenal’s midfield, something they have failed to address in the past few years. The 25-year-old’s ability to read the game is one of his biggest strengths and that coupled with his aerial ability make him solid defensive wall that add to Arsenal’s already strong backline.
His reading of the game means that he doesn’t always lunge in tackles, but when he does go in to get the ball, he returns successfully more often than not. Whether it is making a crucial interception that nips an attack in the bud or a goal-saving tackle in his defensive third, the German has shown that he has immaculate control over defensive discipline.
Bender has time and again proven that he is a tough nut to crack and should the Gunners get their hands on him, they will have, one of Europe’s brightest defensive midfielders in their ranks. More pertinently, they will have a player who will suit their style of play and fit in seamlessly. While it is true that he has never scored more than one League goal a season, in his professional career so far, he more than makes up for it, with some match-saving tackles and interceptions, which prove just as important.
Bender’s performances in the Bundesliga and the Champions League has alerted the interests of several big clubs. Should Arsenal come calling however, the chances are Bender would be more inclined to move as the club would not only offer him regular first-team football but also suit his style of play and enhance his ability as a midfielder.