Arsenal have suffered a blow in their pursuit of a top transfer target. The Gunners are in the market for a new midfield enforcer to beef up their defensive midfield ranks. The Gunners only have Mathieu Flamini as the natural defensive midfielder. The Frenchman has been injured recently and his absence seems to have hampered the Gunners in recent games (Dortmund, Norwich and Chelsea) and this has made the acquisition of another midfield enforcer in the winter window imperative.
Prime targets include Paul Pogba and Lars Bender. The Frenchman was on the Gunners’ radar in the summer while they had a bid rejected for the German. Arsenal were expected to return with a better bid for Bender but even if they do now, the chances of getting him is very remote after the German international agreed a 2 year extension to his current contract.
‘The negotiations over a new contract were a reaction to the offers we have received for Lars, and I am delighted that we have secured his services for the foreseeable future.’
(Rudi Voller reacting to the extension)
With the extension, now Bender is now tied to Leverkusen until 2019 which makes Arsenal’s chances of getting him in January almost impossible and in the summer very much more slimmer. This means Wenger will have to turn his attention to other plausible targets. There are still Mulumbu and Inler. Arsenal have what it takes to get either of them and they will do a good job for the Gunners.