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18/06/2012 14:18, Report by Steve Bartram

Scouting: Lars Bender

Prolific Talking Reds scout Shantanu Ambekar runs the rule over versatile German star Lars Bender in our latest Euro 2012 scouting report...

Player name: Lars Bender
National team: Germany
Club team: Bayer Leverkusen
Position: Centre Midfield
Age: 23
Match scouted: Denmark 1-2 Germany (17 June 2012)
Key moment: Scored the late winner which made sure that Germany won all three group games.
Strengths: His ability to play in many positions. Bender is mainly a central midfielder but can also play as a defensive midfielder or even as a right back. He is a very determined player with a high work rate. As a central midfielder, he is a very creative player who will sit and dictate the tempo of the game and also create chances. As a right back he is very composed and a good tackler. He is dangerous while going forward and also is often in the right place at the right time. He enjoys playing the important games and doesn't fear pressure.
Weaknesses: Mainly the physical side of his game. He is not quick enough to beat the defenders with his pace and doesn't have strength to go shoulder to shoulder with a strong defender, but surely he can work on them.
Suitability: Bender would be a very good addition to the squad. Being just 23 years of age he could still develop in one of the best midfielders in the world. He can play in three different positions which is a huge plus point, and so United could use him as a right back or as creative midfielder or as an anchor man in our Champions League games away from home.
Estimated cost: Bender is very highly rated in the Bundesliga and is one of their gems. If Leverkusen do let him leave, then it won't be cheap. I think they will ask for at least £15m for the 23-year-old.

More scouting reports: Mats Hummels | Jetro Willems | Claudio Marchisio

The views expressed in this article are personal to the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Manchester United.


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