Three defeats in three competitions, three wins in 10 games, 2nd in our group in the Champions League and below our major top-four rivals on the League log, besides the duo from Merseyside. After 7 weeks, it’s hardly a crisis, but given the signs, there must be a move to prevent unpleasant occurrences.
Something has to be done to oil the Arsenal midfield engine to avert any knock before the end of May and Khedira could be that perfect lubricant.
The Real Madrid midfield star has been on Arsene Wenger’s radar for a long time, with speculation rife in the summer that a deal had been struck between us for the player’s transfer, only for personal terms to pose the stumbling block. With Khedira having lost his place in the first XI on a regular basis, it now appears he is open to a move to the Emirates in January, with Real eager to get some fee from him rather than let him sit out the rest of his contract till July – a move which will favour Madrid, Khedira, but most importantly, Arsenal.
Dearth in numbers and quality in midfield has seen us fail to really dominate games especially against sides with huge-sized, technical players. As good as Flamini was against Chelsea, his tendency to do the rash was still all too evident. Calum Chambers may have beat him to his first-to-fetch-five-yellows trophy this season but you could make the argument that even the 19-year-old could do a similar job to what he has done, with a little more technical input.
Being a defensive midfielder requires much more than just breaking up play or sweeping away advancing opponents. Building play up from deep positions, good distribution of the ball and the kind of tactical awareness and understanding of the game which made Pep Guardiola anchor his midfield on ‘little’ Phillip Lahm, are all attributes of the modern defensive midfielder and while Arteta can lay claim to possessing one or two of these, it is not debatable that both have been incapable and unconvincing so far. Ramsey and Wilshere have far more attacking potentials to be wasted in seating in deep positions. Diaby will need some mutating in the laboratory, hence the need for a natural man for the job.
There are not many better than Khedira in that role at the moment.
At 27, he’s definitely still in the ripe years of his career and despite now being on the fringes of Ancelotti’s team, the stock in Khedira’s locker is still the stuff of World-Class standard and will still make many teams better. His size, both in body and experience, means he has the qualities both physique and experience to stand tall and composed in the middle, while the likes of Wilshere and Ramsey exuberate ahead.
We’ve seen the addition of Ozil and Alexis improve our attacking potential in the forward places. Perhaps it’s time to begin considering the recruitment of players of similar reckoning in the dirtier departments of the team, and while we await the likes of Mats Hummels, Varane and Stefan De Vrij to be signed for our defence, Khedira should be brought in to safeguard the area where we suffer most at present.
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