According to various news outlets, Arsenal has reportedly shown a strong interest in signing Sami Khedira from Real Madrid. It being speculated that Mezut Ozil is trying to persuade his former team mate at Real Madrid to join him at the Emirates. Arsene Wenger has made no secret of the fact that he intends to strengthen the holding midfield role this season as he seeks to find a long term replacement for the aging Mikel Arteta.
Although, it remains in the realm of probability whether Arsene Wenger will consider spending €30 million on a player who only has one year left on his contract. Which makes the possibility of such signing unlikely. Although hope still springs eternal for the likes of Mezut Ozil who want his German team mate to pitch tent with him at the Emirates.
Due to the constant link of the German to the Emirates, few things have been said about the players, currently on the books of the club, in that position. The likes of Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini and Abou Diaby.
This position has been Arsenal’s albatross for various seasons, and it reflected in those at the position in the club. Mikel Arteta who is deem the first choice in that position by the manager was converted for that position. Although he has not fared badly against the smaller teams, he has however struggled to impose himself in big games, as his lack of pace and power have been exposed by those teams, most notably in the mauling against Chelsea, Liverpool, and Everton last season. Although, his passing, blocks and interceptions are on the high side, it is in the big games that he has come up short, when his deficiencies have been copiously exposed.
Mathieu Flamini, on the other hand was brought in after Wenger couldn’t bring in his first and second choice holding midfielders. The Frenchman’s second spell have not been too inspiring. With the odd burst of energy and hard tackling. Needless yellow cards and red card from him has caused the team at crucial times, and his lack of technical nous has been exposed several times when he was deployed in the box-to-box role next to Arteta. He is at his best when asked to sit just behind the back four and play the odd simple passes to the attacking players instead of joining in the attack. Added to the plot is that despite the shortcomings his importance to the team is revealed in his versatility. Because he can do a job or two at the full back positions.
Although, Abou Diaby has spent more time in the injury list for years, his ability has never be in doubt. It’s a shame his fragility has hampered him. His drives from the middle akin to the days of Patrick Vieira, can add something to Arsenal’s midfield. With the added merit of his pace. At 28, it is now or never for him if he can stay fit as his contract draws to a close.
The midfield options currently at Arsenal needs an upgrade in power, energy, pace and height. Whether Sami Khedira is that person, remains to be seen.