Arsenal’s need for a defensive midfielder has inevitably led to the link of several players in that position to the club. In spite of the snail speed with which the club conducts it business, it has not stopped the speculations to keep coming in.
There are new reports now linking Arsenal with a £23 million move for Sami Khedira, with the reports adding a bit of spice to it contents by detailing that Arsene Wenger wants the former Stuttgart midfielder to aid Mezut Ozil at Arsenal, being a former Madrid player. Although, the German contingent at the Emirates will have something to say about that on the pretext that Ozil already feels the love of the German community at London Colney, though that is on the way side.
Arsene Wenger pursuit to bring in players in that position has led to bids for Lars Bender of Bayer Leverkusen and Luis Gustavo, now of Wolfsburg, to be turned down last season. Although, it must be stated that Luis Gustavo actually opted for Wolfsburg, when he had the chance of joining Arsenal from Bayern Munich in the summer of 2013.
The stellar performance of the Brazilian at the ongoing World Cup has brought him within Arsenal’s radar. The fee being mooted for his services is £26 million. He turned down the club last summer, on the grounds of lack of assurance, of first team football in a season, leading to the World Cup. Would he consider swapping the Bundesliga for the Premier League after the World Cup? Time will reveal.
However, in terms of comparison what do Khedira and Gustavo bring to the table in a position Arsenal has craved a specialist in for several seasons.
Although, both of these players play in the same position, there approach is however different. Sami Khedira had just 18 appearances for Real Mardrid due to the anterior cruciate ligament injury he suffered in November last year. Although, 6 of those appearances were as a defensive midfielder. He is a player who seldom dives into tackles to win balls, while his strength is more on his passing than being a hard tackler.
On the other hand, Luis Gustavo wins more duels than the German, but susceptible to the odd red card or two. He played 29 times for Wolfsburg last season, purely as a defensive midfielder, with a total of 3 red cards. Sami Khedira is more a tactical player than the Brazilian, who commits lots of fouls in a game and sometimes have issues with discipline.
Although, the German’s calmer nature, would fit in to Arsenal’s style of play, Gustavo’s high energy style of play with a knack for the long ball, can be a viable alternative to a team that is not used to rough treatments.
In the end, both players will fit in well at Arsenal, though their approach is different to say the least.