Bundesliga talents for Arsenal to consider
My good friend Saurabh at Four Added On is the latest to guest post on 15YOG, as we take a little break from ‘My Perfect Player’. He also writes for The Hoffside. He also supplied me with these excellent player profile pictures within the article, so thanks!
Bundesliga talent is at an all time high and Arsenal have had a history of bringing in good players from Germany. Jens Lehmann, Tomas Rosicky and Alex Hleb were the recent additions that made big impacts at Arsenal during their time at the club. With fans demanding some of Arsenal’s midfielders be sold, and with Cesc Fabregas’ future still in doubt, here’s some great midfielders from Germany that Arsenal should be looking at.
The Bender twins have always been neck and neck in terms of talent. Not too long ago Sven came in 3rd place while his brother won the Fritz-Walter-Award, the young player award in Germany. This season has been a breakthrough for Sven Bender and has put him well above his brother, Lars. The Dortmund defensive midfielder has been a bit of an unsung hero in Dortmund’s sensational campaign. With the free flowing football of Dortmund, someone needed to keep the team organized.
That man was Sven Bender. Sitting in front of the backline, the young German was able to control the flow of the game. With the ability to break up play and start his team on a swift counter attack, he would be a brilliant addition to Arsenal’s squad. Despite being very young he has a mature head on his shoulders. Don’t let his intelligence on and off the ball fool you, he’s a physical player as well and can push the likes of Alex Song to his limit, sparking the kind of performances around him that we’d all love to see.
Arturo Vidal is a much more physical player compared to Sven Bender. Vidal impressed on the world stage for the first time in the 2010 World Cup. Despite many club’s interest in him, he was able to stay at Leverkusen and benefit from it, having a real breakthrough season. In the 2010/11 season Vidal was able to make himself the mainstay of the Leverkusen squad, while being just a regular squad player the year before.
Leverkusen boss Jupp Heynckes, moved the versatile midfielder up the pitch as an attacking midfielder. Using his defensive awareness, he was able to press the ball much higher up the pitch and impose a high tempo, pressing game. He used this much more advanced position to his advantage and managed to score 10 goals and record 11 assists. He was able to use his physical strength to bully his way through opposition defences on regular occasions, and quickly became one of the top midfielders in the Bundesliga. Leverkusen really benefitted from it, finishing 2nd in the league and reaching the Champions League for the first time since 2004.
Another perfect addition to an Arsenal squad that needs a physical player in midfield. Vidal has been linked strongly with Arsenal this week and many have suggested that he would be a perfect defensive addition to the Arsenal squad. But I disagree, he’d be the perfect attacking addition.
As a Hoffenheim fan, it pains me to make this suggestion. But, former Reading star and now Hoffenheim Player of the Year, Gylfi Sigurdsson is a brilliant midfielder. He’s one of the most deadly and feared freekick specialists in the Bundesliga. He managed to score most of his goals last season from set pieces and finished as top scorer in a very mediocre Hoffenheim season.
This is something Arsenal has never really had. That’s not the end of it either. Sigurdsson is also fairly versatile. While he does his best work behind the striker, he can play also play on the wings and cut inside. He’s also a good dribbler and playmaker, with his ability to play longer passes. His shot from distance is also dangerous, with him scoring from more than 30 yards out on various occasions. We saw last year how Arsenal struggled to penetrate defences, with a player like Sigurdsson, Arsenal would have another option going forward. Having been brought through at Reading, and after getting experience playing in a top league, he’ll be able to fit in perfectly at a Premier League team.
Young Mario Götze’s story is a great one. He made his debut for Dortmund as a 17 year old and just a year later, played an integral part in his team’s championship. Götze was the winner of the U17 and U18 Fritz-Walter-Award in the last two years. His only real weakness is that he’s a smaller player and probably not the right fit to be in the Premier League, but what he lacks in physicality, he makes up for in technical ability. It’s something that frustrates Arsenal fans but read on.
Götze’s runs off the ball are brilliant and with his pace, he’s able to get away from defenders with easy. He’s equally able to spring attacks of his own. His close control has been compared to that of Lionel Messi, combined with his ability to run at defenders or find space, the comparisons are definitely there. Today, Mario Götze is one of Germany’s premier talents and he’s being tracked by various big clubs around the world including Manchester United. Won’t hurt to get in front of them in that list!
Lewis Holtby is also similar to Götze. While Arsenal doesn’t necessarily need more wingers, Holtby would be a good option to start watching. Holtby has been on loan from Schalke for the last two years and impressed at Bochum and Mainz. He led a small Mainz team to the Europa League and was their talisman for much of the campaign. He was also Germany’s U21 captain but despite good performances in the U21 Euro Qualifiers, his German team wasn’t able to make it to the competition in Denmark.
He can play on either wing and is a quick and skilled player. Like the young Dortmunder above him on the list, he has good close control and has the skill to run at players. He’s also a good finisher and when he can get inside defenders he can definitely cause problems for the opposition. He’s always expressed his interest in playing in his father’s home country, England. Let’s bring him home.
So there we are, five great talents from Germany. Five talents not just potentially for Arsenal’s squad, but the world of football in general.