Will Bayer’s transfer U-turn see Arsenal sign Bender?

While some clubs with top quality defensive midfielders might be dreading the January transfer window, with Arsenal badly in need of cover for Francis Coquelin and Arsene Wenger sitting on a massive pile of cash for new signings, others may be rubbing their hands at the prospect of making some money off us.

One club that was previously in the former category is the Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen, as they has previously issued hands off warnings about their Germany international star Lars Bender. THey have him tied into a contract until 2019 so are under no real pressure to sell either.

But last week their chairman Michael Schade was reported in The Telegraph all but admitting that they were ready to sell, if the right club comes up with the right offer of course.

He said, “Bayer Leverkusen can’t be as arrogant to say that we are creating world stars and they will retire here.

“If we are able to create a world star or top player, then one day this player wants to play for one of the top [clubs in the world], of course.”

Great news for the Gunners, even if it is a surprise. Perhaps the German club’s struggles this season, which see them about to exit the Champions League while being down in 8th place and way off the pace in the domestic table. Will Wenger soon make Bender the third German in the Arsenal first team?

Arsenal to use Podolski to seal Bundesliga star´s transfer?

I must admit to being one of the many Arsenal fans who thought Arsene Wenger was being stubborn and missing a trick in not playing our German international striker Lukas Podolski more this season. But his awful performances and subsequent lack of game time since moving to Inter Milan on loan has perhaps proved the Frenchman right.

Podolski could still be very useful for Arsenal though, as a Metro report explains. The World Cup winner will still have a year left on his contract this summer and it is unlikely that Inter will want him, but he is still highly regarded in Germany.

So Arsenal are apparently planning to use him as part of a transfer deal for the Bayer Leverkusen and Turkey international midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu. The 21-year old is already stalling on a new contract with his Bundesliga club and Wenger is said to be keen so letting Leverkusen have Podolski, who would probably fancy a return home to get his career going again, could be the perfect solution for everyone.

Lars Bender should only be a backup target for Arsenal

According to the German media, Arsenal have had their opening bid of 23 million euros for German International Lars Bender rejected by his club Bayer Leverkusen. Honestly, I don’t think there is any truth in Arsenal bidding that amount for the player, however I feel that there definitely is interest in him from Arsenal and so its worthy thinking about if we actually need him.

Quite simply, I think the answer to that question is YES! Lars Bender and not his brother Sven Bender who plays for Borussia Dortmund, has been an ever present figure for his team and has attracted interest from across the top European clubs, ever since becoming one of Leverkusen’s most important players.

The news that Arsenal had bid 23 million Euros was originally reported through speculation from German media organisation ‘Express’, however as with everything news quickly spreads and it wasn’t too long before the English newspapers such as The Daily Mirror and Metro as well as websites including The Bleacher Report began to report the same thing in hope that there was some accuracy to the story. However as already mentioned I highly doubt that the story, let alone the figure involved is realistic and so there is no need for Arsenal fans to get their hopes up just quite yet.

But back to Bender and I actually think we shouldn’t pursue the German any further than we already have. For the rumoured value that the player holds of £20 million then I think there are much better options available, notably Everton and Belgium midfielder Maroune Fellaini, who we have been persistently linked with this summer. Fellaini would be a much better buy because although Bender is a strong candidate and arguably one of the best in his defensive midfield position at the moment, Fellaini’s strength both in the air and on the ground as well as his aerial dominance and build are just a few of the attributes the Belgian holds over the German International Bender.

Although the fee would probably be less, as would the wages, I think for an extra three million, Wenger might as well just go out and buy the Premier League experienced Fellaini, however I suppose Bender could always be a decent back up option, should our first target fail to be established as an Arsenal player.

Milan, Napoli Or Leverkusen. Who Is The Best Opponent?

Tough times arising for Arsenal as the teams who were ranked second in the Champions League group stage are no easy tasks, although there are a few weaker than the rest.

Wenger will need all the luck he can get before the knockout stage draw because Arsenal could encounter a really tough opponent if they’re unlucky enough.

By Far the toughest opponent Arsenal could face is AC Milan. The Italian side managed to qualify second after Spanish giants Barcelona, but proved to be a fierce opponent even against the team who is supposed to be the best in the world.

Other tough opponents for Arsenal would be Bundesliga side Leverkusen, French side Lyon or Italian club Napoli. All of the three are touch teams which proved to be in a good form this season, and all three qualified from tough groups. Leverkusen had to knock out Valencia, Lyon knocked out former glory Ajax and Napoli helped get rid of Manchester City after they took 4 points out of the double against the English side.

The easy opponents would  be Russian side Zenit St Petersburg who might even have Arshavin on their side at the time, CSKA Moscow or FC Basel. So Arsenal’s chances to draw a tough opponent are greater than drawing a weak one, but as the saying goes, you have to beat the best to be the best.