Lars Bender

Lars Bender

Liverpool’s midfield lacks tenacity off the ball and that natural defensive element, which has undoubtedly contributed to their rather worrying goals against tally of 50 – only two goals less than 10th-place Newcastle.

One signing more than capable of rectifying that is £20million-rated Bayer Leverkusen star Lars Bender.

The brother of Sven is regarded as one of the toughest tacklers German football has to offer, having amassed a sensational 4.5 challenges per match in six Champions League outings this season.

He’s famed for his relentless work-rate too and has proved his utility on the international scene over the past 18 months; featuring in his secondary right-back role for Germany, the 25 year-old netted three times in six outings in 2013.

Now a part of Joachim Lowe’s World Cup squad despite huge competition for places in midfield, there’s no doubting Bender’s quality. Also a natural leader, he’s currently serving as Bayer’s vice-captain.

But having agreed a new deal at the Bayer Arena at the start of the season, he won’t be easy to prize away this summer.