Date: 16th November 2013 at 10:00am
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Former Liverpool midfielder Jan Molby has suggested that Liverpool need to start looking for a successor to Steven Gerrard. That is no easy task and I do not think we will see another player who will match what Liverpool’s captain has achieved, so we just need find someone who comes close to it.

In his Liverpool Echo column, Molby identifies Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender as the best candidate for the job.

I would like to see Liverpool add a player who is the younger version of Steven Gerrard.

That style of all-round midfielder.

Yaya Toure does that great job for Manchester City and is a player who defends when he has to but can also control the pace of a game with the ball.

Toure also chips in with goals when he can.

My suggestion would be for Liverpool to go after Bayer Leverkusen’s Lars Bender.

There are a lot of top players in Germany and I look at Bender and believe he is the real deal.

For me, he ticks all the boxes.

There is no doubt that 24-year old Bender is a quality player. Arsenal have recently been linked with a move for him. But the German midfielder has recently signed a new deal at Leverkusen which will keep him at the club until 2019. But we all know in the world of football, contracts do not mean much and if anything, it could just be a way for Leverkusen to up his transfer value.

One advantage though that Liverpool have when it comes to Bender is that his current boss Sami Hyypia is a Liverpool legend and if he were to sell Bender and Liverpool were interested, I am sure he would give them some preference.

Bender started off his career as purely a defensive midfielder but has since expanded his game to be a box-to-box midfielder which is something Liverpool need right now. He certainly has the physique of fitting into the Premier League and would be provide a lot of interesting midfield battles with the current midfielders in the Premier League. In 13 appearances in all competitions this season for Leverkusen, Bender has managed two goals and one assist as his club currently lie joint-second in the Bundesliga.

Players like Bender are the kind of big name signings Liverpool should be making. Hopefully with the reintroduction of Champions League football next season, we will no longer just be dreaming of signings world class players but it will become a reality.