There are reports in the German and Spanish press, that Real Madrid has opened talks with Wolfsburg over the signing of Luis Gustavo. The German who is having a good World Cup in protecting Brazil’s back line from midfield has also being linked to Arsenal.
In the mean time, Arsenal has shown interest in Sami Khedira, the player Gustavo is likely to replace at the European Champions if the deal pulls through.
The domino effect of the Brazilian’s likely move to Spain could pave the way for Arsenal to move for Sami Khedira. In effect what will this translate to? If the club is interested in bringing the German to the Emirates, is it borne out of creating a partnership with Mesut Ozil on the field or is it purely based on shoring up the midfield.
Sami Khedira is a player who is not known for his tackling ability, none adept at making interceptions. He strives in the odd furor up front, and delights in joining the attack instead of sitting deep to protect the defense. Sensu Stricto, he is not purely a defensive midfielder in the mode of Luis Gustavo, who can burst a gut in putting in hard tackles for his team.
Khedira on the other hand, strives on a game intelligence, recycling the balls, getting the balls moving, just like a box-to-box midfielder. His ability to fully protect the back four in a physically demanding league, like the English Premier League, could very well be questioned. No doubt, he will bring pace and height to Arsenal’s midfield as he is 6ft 2in. Yet, his defensive nous is clearly in doubt.
Arsene Wenger has over the years deviated from actually getting in a pure defensive midfielder in the mode of Gilberto Silva preferring players with some measure of technique who could sit behind the defense, and keep the ball ticking. But the intelligence of playing the role of a defensive midfield is not an act for a player converted to play it. Arsene Wenger has seldom purchased players from within the Premier League, preferring to go abroad. The club in consideration for the defensive midfield role, should focus on a player who is actually adept and possess the nous to focus on protecting the back four. A player like Morgan Schniederlin of Southampton who incidentally has also been linked should be considered.
He possess the qualities of being strong in the tackle and has the pace and energy to cover lots of ground, and wins lots of aerial duels. Added to that, he has Premier League experience.
Players bought from within the league have a tendency of going up a notch in their performance when they join a bigger club. The Frenchman could take that leap. Sami Khedira will come with a high fee, with €30 million being mooted, yet, is he what Arsenal need as a defensive midfielder?