Bender, Lewandoski, Eriksen links and why not a return for Nordtveit?

After Saturday’s
clash of the Germans in London we can all get back to normal and focus on the
upcoming transfer madness. As it seems the hype has not started yet and teams
are trying to watch out for bargains.

But with Barcelona’s Neymar deal in place
things are about to get started. So let’s have a look at what we can expect
from the German market. It doesn’t seem good at the moment. 

Arsenal are always linked with players from the Bundesliga. That’s nothing new.
But the early links seem to have cooled down since first emerging in spring.
Let’s take Lars Bender, a player who many Arsenal fans would like to see in a
red and white next season. Arsenal were in for Bender in January and negotiations
took place. How far they’ve come is not known in detail. Back in spring I
tweeted the info I got from by press guy in Cologne that Arsenal were back in
contact with Bender to get him to the Emirates. At this time a deal seemed
possible and with a reported release clause of around £15m financially a good
deal. Since then, info is both from German media and my press mate have totally
cooled down. No new developement not even a slightest hint. And I’m asking
nearly every week believe me.  

It’s a bit disappointing as I would love to see Bender at Arsenal as I think he
is the perfect fit for defensive midfield. There are only two reasons how this
lack of info is to explain. First Arsenal are on a secret mission again and
come up with a deal out of the blue. Personally I don’t think that’s the case
as some info always gets through these days. Second Arsenal have simply turned
their focus elsewhere with possibly Arteta filling the gap in defensive
midfield. Whatever reason it is I will stay on that case till the end of
August. So stay tuned. 

Another player we have been linked to in recent weeks has been Robert Lewandowski.
A lot might have seen him play an impressive season with Borussia Dortmund. A
lot speculation surrounding him at the moment. Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes
all but confirmed the transfer. His agent pushes for an official statement and
BVB deny they even got an offer. BVB are reluctant to sell to their rivals but
are clever enough to cash in on a good offer. Personally I think the deal is
done and will be announced soon. Maybe the full details are not arranged yet
but Heynckes is not that kind of manager who does such a statement without a
reason. So let’s cross Lewandowski off our list if he was ever realistically on

As it’s all about narrowing our targets these days we can continue with Christian
Eriksen. He’s not playing in Germany but he’s heavily linked with BVB and was
with Arsenal. As I wrote some weeks ago he was/is in negotiations with BVB and
a deal seems to be close if Bild and other media are to be believed. As BVB are
looking for a Götze replacement and Eriksen already talked about his BVB
fascination it seems we can cross him off the list as well. Question is if he’s
the kind of player we are looking for anyway. There are other departments we
are more in need. But that’s another topic. 

After all this crossing off let’s have a look at former AFC player Havard Nordtveit.
The Norwegian defender/midfielder was transferred to Borussia Monchengladbach
in January 2011 after spending a loan spell at Nürenberg and in Spain. Harvard
was seen as a possible starter in Arsenal’s defense but never quite managed the
breakthrough. That’s different now. Nordtveid is a regular starter for Gladbach
and had 31 starts this season with 30 of them in the starting line up. He’s
only been subbed four times in the 2012/2013 season. With a pass completion
rate of 82,9 % his low rate of committed fouls (37) is rounded up.  

Many players who leave Arsenal don’t quite get into regular first team
football. But it’s fair to say the cool Norwegian did make his mark in Gladbach’s
starting line up. And with 23 years of age he may return to Arsenal one day…. 

That’s it for this week’s Doppelpass. See you all next week.

Chris Mader

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