Lars Bender
Bender is a target for Arsenal this summer.

Former Arsenal strike Alan Smith believes the club should follow the imminent addition of Alexis Sanchez with the signing of Bayer Leverkusen's Lars Bender.

Sanchez is expected to join The Gunners before the end of the week, while Newcastle United defender Mathieu Debuchy is also set to sign.

And in order to balance the new attacking and defensive signings, Smith believes a new midfielder to complement with likes of Jack Wilshere and Mesut Ozil is the missing piece of Arsenal's puzzle.

"I think you'd be looking once again in midfield to compliment the players they have already got with some smaller, more technical players," he said. "You think of the likes of Arteta and Wilshere and Ozil and Ramsey. He's been linked with Lars Bender.

"He's a quality player and is someone who will sit and hold and who can tackle and is good with the ball. Arsenal have been linked with him, whether there is any truth or not who knows.

"I could see there being a bit of substance to that because he strikes me as being an Arsene Wenger type of player. He's tactically good and I think that's the area he will be looking at.

"If Thomas Vermaelen is about to leave, Manchester United have been interested, then you would be looking at bringing another centre-half in as well."

The signing of Sanchez will be welcomed with open arms by Arsenal fans, who were left disappointed in January after the club refraining from adding a forward to their ranks to bolster their Premier League title hopes.

Though they eventually won the FA Cup and qualified for the Champions League, Arsenal fell away in the title race as Olivier Giroud tired after being overworked during the campaign.

Former Arsenal left-back Kenny Sansom however believes that additional defensive cover should be the priority for manager Arsene Wenger.

"They need a centre half, really commanding and to make sure that the whole back four and the goalkeeper and the holding midfield player get on and do their jobs," Sansom told Sky Sports News Radio.