“It’s not a decision against Real Madrid, I want to find new challenges for my career and continue to grow as a player.
“I don’t have an agreement with any club nor any preferences as to who I would like to join. I will do everything I can to continue helping the team during the forthcoming weeks.”
These are the words of Sami Khedira talking about leaving Real Madrid when his contract expires this summer. Arsenal fans are sure to be paying close attention to these developments, with the German seemingly the ideal addition for the Gunners. Reports last summer suggested that the World Cup winner was on the verge of switching to the Emirates Stadium, and when he eventually stayed at Real Madrid, there was a feeling of ‘the one that got away’, with the rangy central star having long been thought of as one of the best in the business.
So maybe it’s time to make a fresh move then, right? Right, and here are FIVE reasons the north London club really do need the 27-year-old…
Arsenal have long been criticised for lack a real presence in the middle of the pitch. Francis Coquelin has returned from Charlton as the ‘saviour’, but even though the young Frenchman has impressed, he’s hardly the calibre of player the Gunners need if they’re to compete for titles and European honours.
Khedira, however, is a more complete midfielder, and although not quite in the same mould as Patrick Vieira, he would bring a greater physical power and a commanding presence.
Should Khedira be moving for his true value, it’s likely that the German would cost upwards of £30m… that’s how good he is! However, thanks to the Bosman ruling, the world champion is free to move on for nothing, and such an opportunity is one a top club like Arsenal cannot really afford to turn down.
Okay, Khedira is likely to use his situation to negotiate a big wage and a significant signing on fee, but even these figures will not come close to what it would take for Arsene Wenger to land a level alternative.
Almost five years at Real Madrid and over 50 caps for Germany, Khedira knows what playing at the highest level is all about. Arsenal have been labelled bottlers in the past, but with a calm head who’s done it all before in the middle, maybe they can get over the line that separates fourth place and a proper title challenge.
Bundesliga title? Check. La Liga winner? Yep. Champions League? Oh yes… WORLD CUP. You bet! Khedira knows what it takes to win, and his career thus far has reflected that. He was a part of Stuttgart’s impressive 2006/07 title winning side before eventually joining Real in 2010 to take part in the Jose Mourinho era.
In the same period, Arsenal have won only the FA Cup… so perhaps having a winner in their XI may make the difference when it matters.
The last two summers Arsenal have sent out a real signal in the transfer market. Massive fees have been paid to lure Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez from Spain to London, and it’s fair to say that both sent out the message that the Gunners mean business.
Getting another big name in for next season will once again make the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City take notice, which is often half the battle.