Arsene Wenger has been told that he would be wasting Arsenal's money if he makes a move for Manchester United target Ilkay Gundogan, because it his teammate the Frenchman should be chasing - and his brother.
According to Dietmar Hamann, the Gunners boss would be spending money more wisely if he tried to purchase one of twins Lars and Sven Bender - or even both. Speaking to the Daily Mirror, former Liverpool star said that Gundogan would not bring anything new to the table at the Emirates Stadium.
"He’s a very good footballer – but he’s a typical Arsenal player"
Louis van Gaal is another Premier League manager who has been credited with an interest in the Germany international and Hamann's description of the deep-lying playmaker would suggest he may be more suitable for the Old Trafford club than their rivals in north London.
The Champions League winner feels that Arsenal need a player at the base of their midfield more in the mould of their rival across London. A player similar to Nemanja Matic and John Obi Mikel, physically imposing and defensive-minded midfielders, are what he suggests is in order - and he believes finding one shouldn't be too difficult.
“There are players out there, who would instantly make Arsenal a better team. They are supposed to be looking at Ilkay Gundogan at Borussia Dortmund. He’s a very good footballer – but he’s a typical Arsenal player," said Hamann.
“He won’t want to do the dirty work. His instinct is to join in further up the pitch, get a few forward passes going and try to weigh in with a few goals. For me, Arsenal would be much better served, going for one of the Bender brothers, especially Lars.
“Either of those boys would give Wenger something he hasn’t got in midfield. Someone who can read the game, is naturally defensively minded and who will thrive, operating in front of the back four, making sure Arsenal don’t get exposed."
Wenger Already Interested
Lars Bender is a name that Arsenal fans will be familiar with, as the Bayer Leverkusen midfielder was linked with a move to the Gunners last summer and for the current transfer window. Wenger was reported to be an long-term admirer of him, but a deal never materialised.
However, the argument for them needing to buy a midfield destroyer was countered by the brilliant performance of Francis Coquelin at Manchester City. On loan at Charlton Athletic a few weeks ago, the young Frenchman has grasped the opportunity given to him through injuries and has been transformed.
The 23-year-old now looks first choice for the role in front of the back four and is reportedly set to receive a new three-year deal. Arsenal's 2-0 win at the Etihad Stadium had a lot to do with the screening he did to stifle the space for David Silva and the Premier League champions' creative influence.
Meanwhile, Manchester United have struggled with ball retention at times this season and the defensive part of their midfield has looked far from settled. Gundogan would perhaps aid them in this and there would be potential for an effective partnership with Michael Carrick.