Amidst all the speculation surrounding midfielders linked to Arsenal, I had stayed defeatist calm. I never really fancied Wenger to buy a defensive midfielder, when he had to face the ruckus of buying a lot of players to simply plug the holes.
But then Alexis Sanchez happened.
Arsenal showed ambition when they nabbed Alexis Sanchez, probably some damning ambition I have never seen before in all my time as a supporter. Sanchez was beyond the level I had expected Arsene to operate in, yet he executed it with surprising ease. My respect for Arsenal negotiating team has increased considerably since.
Incredibly, it might increase even further. There is something about the rumours surrounding Khedira’s future that suggests concrete interest from Arsenal. Not to further hype our possibility of capturing him, but it would be foolish to rule out this transfer. Once we bought players like Ozil and Sanchez, working in this area of the market seems to have become more comfortable.
I have no doubt Khedira would love to be a part of Arsenal. Why wouldn’t he? We now have money to spend, he has a good chance of being first choice and in the immediate aftermath of Mesut Ozil’s signing, Khedira couldn’t hesitate in asserting his enormous contribution to the team, claiming Arsenal to be the best team in England. The opportunity to play with Ozil and the other Germans in our team would be enticing to him.
In hindsight, Khedira’s comment back then may have been highly unrealistic. However, it simply speaks to the connection between Mesut and Khedira, that his move to Arsenal sparked such a bold statement from him. Re-joining his Real Madrid and German mate in a team seriously contending for the Premier League should undoubtedly appeal to him, by that logic.
Its amazing how Sanchez’s transfer could overhaul my existing perceptions of, well, everything. However, I would argue this has been a long time coming. In recent years, Arsenal’s level of operating in the market had increased subtly. In between the time of that dastardly 8-2 match and the Mesut Ozil signing, Wenger’s type of purchases had notably changed. On days when Wenger used to buy a free striker from the French league [Chamakh], he instead went for a £10m punt on a decent striker and a characterful bloke – Giroud. His transfers of Podolski, Cazorla and Flamini bear in stark contrast to the promising Denilsons and Bendtners he would experiment on.
The players he bought were decent, hardworking footballers; but they weren’t the super top-quality that Wenger has always preached about. Which was exactly why players like Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez were embraced – Wenger had seemingly raised the bar again.
A telling example of it brings us to present day. Having the option to buy Schneiderlin, Bender or the aforementioned Khedira is a far cry from being forced to purchase a cheap reject from a French club. It’s a bit rich of us to debate on which player Wenger should pass up on, especially considering the players we had not more than two years ago. Should Arsenal manage to snare any one of these players, I’d be practically dancing with joy.
As the title suggests, Khedira would be a bonus for me. I haven’t quite come to terms with the calibre of players Arsenal are starting to buy, so Khedira still seems a touch fantasy for me. Keeping in mind that our war chest doesn’t have a bottomless pit, I’d have suggested Arsene to try harder for Schneiderlin – a Premier League experienced player who’d accept more modest wages than Khedira. However, if Wenger believes Arsenal has the financial capability to land a signing as spectacular as Sami, I couldn’t be more amazed by his attempts, and I won’t be particularly gutted if he fails.
It’s apparent that we need more steel in midfield, and Khedira ticks most of the boxes. Indeed, he ticks even more in areas that we don’t especially require, which makes him a bonus buy. It’s like wanting an Arsenal jersey for Christmas and instead getting the complete OG kit, along with an Arsenal season ticket and a strand of Santi Cazorla’s hair.
For obvious reasons, Arsenal fans have every reason to be enthralled by Wenger’s Khedira pursuit. However, should Wenger fail, it wouldn’t be reasonable of us to use it as a stick to beat him with? We’ll just make do with Morgan Schneiderlin.