It seems like every day there is a new target for Sir Alex Ferguson. Unlike their noisy neighbours, Manchester United do not have the funds to make 4 or 5 transfers in the January transfer window just because they feel like it.
Though they are currently joint second in the Premier League, it is clear that this season, that for numerous reasons United’s defence is leakier than Edward Scissor hand’s water bed. This affords the opportunity for every football journalist in the country to make the most of any sniff of a rumour about a potential purchase for the Red Devils.
Since reporting on Ashley Cole’s potential move to United (which I found highly unlikely), Sir Alex has been linked with a plethora of talented players in a very short space of time. Both attacking and defensive players have been suggested, including, but not limited to: Diego Lugano, Kevin Strootman, Mario Sampirisi, James Rodriguez and now Lars Bender.
At 23, Lars Bender is part of a crop of young players breaking into the senior German international squad. He featured in their Euro 2012 squad and has played an integral part in the midfield and at right back for Bayer Leverkusen in the past couple of seasons. An inflated January bid for Bender may stretch United’s bank, as a bid for Bender from Bayern Munich was rejected in the summer; Leverkusen do not seem keen on selling one of their prize assets.
In my opinion United need to do something. How long can they operate successfully with this squad full of injury prone players and midfielders filling in at centre back? Bender would give United a more depth in central midfield , and some defensive cover as he can also play at right back. Sir Alex is fond of players with flexibility.
Sometimes it works i.e. Rooney, and Jones, other times it is more out of desperation, see – Michael Carrick vs Braga. With this in mind he fits a model of young talent that Sir Alex seems to favour. If he can persuade the owners to splash some cash, Bender could give the Red Devils an improved chance of regaining the Premier League and perhaps fighting for some European silver wear.