According to Sami Morkbel in The Daily Mail, Wenger has been suitably impressed by the German international, as have his scouts who have been particularly active in Germany over the last eighteen months.
The Gunners missed out on the holding player last summer when they had a bid of £19million rejected and ultimately walked away frustrated – just as they did with Liverpool striker Luis Suarez. Wenger is determined not to let the same thing happen again.
Having seen another title challenge falter following poor results against Chelsea and Swansea this week, Wenger, who oversaw his 1,000th game in charge of the Gunners on Saturday, is coming under increasing pressure after going a whole decade without a trophy – stunning for a club of Arsenal’s size and stature.
And good memories. Thank you Arsene. pic.twitter.com/32rhiSRcuj— Patrick Vieira (@OfficialVieira) March 21, 2014
All of the trophies won in Wenger’s time in charge were secured within his first 500 games when his midfield boasted a powerful “Patrick Viera"-type midfielder to break up the opposition's threat, as well as provide an offensive thrust - something sorely lacking at the Emirates now.
While prior-to-injury, Aaron Ramsey was the Gunner’s most free scoring midfielder with eight Premier League goals, his midfield counterparts have added only nineteen between them, including eight, from Spanish world Cup winner Santi Cazorla and £40million signing Mesut Ozil.
What is certain however, is that none of Wenger’s current midfield options offer the contained aggression and physical ability to stifle the opposition’s advances aswell.
Standing at over Six feet and with his powerful and combative style, 24-year old Bender fits that bill perfectly and it comes as no surprise to see Arsenal’s French boss look to add to his growing Deutsch contingent that already numbers Five.
According to Morkbel, “Wenger views Bender as a box-to-box player, equally capable of doing the dirty work in midfield and playing Arsenal's trademark style of football”.
It is also reported that Bender’s brother Sven – currently at Borussia Dortmund – has caught the eye of the Germany based Arsenal scouting network, as has another Dortmund midfielder; Ilkay Gundogan.
Closer to home, Southampton's French midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin is also a potential target for the Gunners as they hope to rebuild in order to sustain a determined push for the title next season.