Arsenal are being linked to recent World Cup and Champions League winner, Sami Khedira. The midfield tactician played a vital role for Real Madrid and Germany after coming back from a lengthy knee injury.
Arsenal are in the market to find a holding midfielder to pair with last season’s breakout star, Aaron Ramsey. Ramsey is a solid defender for his position, but is most dangerous when surging into the attack (12 goals in all competitions last season, via Whoscored) along with creators Ozil, and Cazorla. While Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere, and Mathieu Flamini all filled in beside him at different points during the season, none of them were truly the right fit.
That is why pursuing Khedira makes so much sense for Arsenal. He fits the “want” and “need” list for a modern defensive midfielder. While being a physical powerhouse in defense, he also possesses attacking guile while going forward. He has remarkable ability to pick out a pass and link up the play between forwards in the attack. This all around midfielder is something that Arsenal deeply missed last season, especially after Ramsey went out for an extended period of time with an injury.
He would be a massive improvement and would certainly be a mainstay in Arsenal’s starting 11 next season. After the intelligent signing of Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona, Arsene Wenger may be looking to make his second big splash in the transfer market. Khedira thrived when playing with attacking minded players in the midfield while at Real Madrid. This is something Arsenal could also offer the 27 year old.
Khedira shouldered a lot of defensive responsibility when playing alongside Luka Modric and Angel Di Maria. This provides some insurance for Arsenal, as he has proven his worth ever since breaking into the top tier of football in 2006 with German Bundesliga side Stuttgart.
While Arsenal has been heavily linked to the German, recent reports suggest Chelsea are also vying for his signature. Among other reports, rumors say that Khedira’s wage demands are delaying progress for a new deal. His agent has strongly denied those accusations stating “we have not been in talks with Arsenal. I don’t think a fee could have been agreed upon, otherwise I would have been told”.
With only one year left on his contract, Real Madrid may be looking to move him, before risking losing him on a free transfer. Real is also armed with plenty of depth in the midfield, which would soften the blow of losing him, if they do.
I feel the Khedira transfer buzz is a very realistic rumor and possibility for Arsenal, and the price shouldn’t be too much of a deterrent for Wenger. The rumored cost for Khedira would be in the neighborhood of 25 million pounds. This is a bargain when you consider the likes of Adam Lallana, and Luke Shaw were just sold for near identical amounts from Southampton. I am not doubting Lallana’s quality or Shaw’s potential, but they do not have near the resume or experience of Khedira, which includes the Champions League and intense La Liga title victories.
While I wouldn’t say it is “likely”, I do feel this is a deal that could happen for numerous reasons. The club’s desire to improve and challenge for a league title, and Khedira’s German connections within the squad. It is known that Khedira is great friends with former Madrid man Mesut Ozil, and is also fond of German teammates Lukas Podolski, and Per Mertesacker. This could be a great move for both parties and excite Gooners worldwide.