The German stars attracting Manchester United and Chelsea

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Chelsea and Manchester United have been linked with Andre Schurrle and Lars Bender, and it's easy to see why.

Bayern Munich look to have the Bundesliga title almost sewn up already, they are 12 points clear of defending champions Borussia Dortmund.

It is perhaps a surprise that Bayern's biggest challengers are Bayer Leverkusen, who could only finish fifth last season.

Leverkusen have had centre forward Stefan Kiessling to thank for their league standing, he is the top scorer in the Bundesliga with 12 goals, and is on pace to eclipse his best season return of 21 from three years ago.

While 28-year-old Kiessling has been clinical, there are two other younger stars who are integral to their success so far this season; Andre Schurrle - 22, and Lars Bender - 23.

Schurrle is a target for Chelsea, who had bids rejected for him in the summer, and Bender has been linked recently with Manchester United. Both are expected to go back in for the players if not next month then next summer.

Here is a look at each of their season's so far:

Andre Schurrle

Schurrle has been in sensational form this season for Leverkusen and has been a key part in their ascent to second in the league. He has scored four goals this season and provided five assists in the league, more than any of his teammates, while he has also scored one and assisted one in the Europa League.

He has played the majority of his game as a wide left forward in a 4-3-3, but his versatility has also seen him fill in at centre forward and in an attacking midfield role through the middle. It is little wonder Chelsea are interested in him as he would compliment their system well, interchanging with Mata and Hazard.

Schurrle's other key asset is his dribbling. He has completed an average of three successful dribbles a game, 54 in total. By comparison his nearest teammate has completed just 28. Intriguingly for Chelsea fans, his statistics are identical to Kevin de Bruyne, who is on loan from the Stamford Bridge club to Wolfsburg. Schurrle is undoubtedly shaping up to be one of the next big German stars - He has seven goals in 18 international games, but at a cost of £25 million perhaps the club may want to assess De Bruyne close hand first?

Lars Bender

23-year-old Bender is the vital cog in Leverkusen's midfield, who keeps them ticking over, but can also add to the attack, and has been compared with Bayern stalwart Bastian Schweinsteiger. He has scored once in the league this season, providing three assists, two of which came in the recent 3-2 win over Hannover. But perhaps the biggest asset of Bender's is the shield he provides to the defence.

Nobody in the Leverkusen team has made more tackles than him (68), which is the fourth highest in the Bundesliga. It is also higher than any Premier League player, with both leagues having played 17 games.

For a look at what he could bring to Manchester United, it is clear - The most amount of tackles made by a United midfielder is Michael Carrick - who has played more games but made just 27 tackles. He is a different type of player who would add tenacity to the Red Devils and surely cure their problem of leaking goals.

 

Would you like to see Schurrle or Bender at your club?

 

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