Arsenal have finally begun to make moves in this summer’s transfer window. With the signings of Chilean playmaker Alexis Sanchez and French defender Mathieu Debuchy imminent, they are now also in the running to sign German defensive midfielder Sami Khedira.
Arsenal have apparently put forth a £24 million bid for Khedira to Champions League winners Real Madrid. The only possible detriment to the deal is Khedira’s demands of £135,000 a week from the London-based club. He is already paid £150,000 a week at Madrid, so he would be taking a relatively small pay cut. But despite this, he would still be the second highest paid player at Arsenal (below compatriot Mesut Ozil) if the deal were to go through.
Khedira began his senior career as a mainstay in the midfield of VfB Stuttgart. After making over 130 appearances with club, he moved into a prominent role with the German national team.
Kevin Prince-Boateng’s hard challenge on Michael Ballack in the 2010 FA Cup Final meant that the talismanic Ballack would miss out on that summer’s World Cup. Despite this, Khedira stepped into Ballack’s defensive midfielder role and did not disappoint. He played in all seven of Germany’s matches and had quite a World Cup that year. He even scored a late winner to top Uruguay in the Third Place Match.
Just a few days after the World Cup concluded, Spanish giants Real Madrid snatched him up for an undisclosed fee. He has made 144 appearances for the club, but he ran into a torrid time this last season. He tore his ACL in a friendly match and saw fellow players Angel Di Maria and Luka Modric excel in the central midfield without him. Despite this, he made a recovery and featured in the German team in this year’s World Cup. He picked up a goal and an assist in the semifinal thrashing of Brazil on Tuesday.
Arsenal have been looking at Khedira for a while and look keen to strike a deal. Khedira is a great distributor of the ball and has a quite underrated skill set. He also has a powerful shot, as evidenced by his volleyed goal against Greece in Euro 2012. Khedira has a knack for performing well on the big stages; just look at his World Cup performances and his inclusion in the Euro 2012 Team of the Tournament.
Arsenal are also still tracking Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin and Bayer Leverkusen’s Lars Bender as potential suitors for their defensive midfield role as well. Both have seen their stock rise with recent performances in the Premier League and Bundesliga, respectively. And with Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini aging, Arsenal look even keener to find a long-term replacement for their roles. Fans of the club are left to wonder if Khedira is the answer to that issue.