Jan Molby

Arsenal have been waiting a decade for a player like Khedira

Jan Molby

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Arsene Wenger has realised that to make his team better he has to finally address the weaknesses that have plagued Arsenal for almost a decade, and the prospective signing of Sami Khedira would certainly do that.

For 10 years, you have needed convincing about Arsenal. When they are at their best you know they can live with any team in the world. You don't worry about them. But they are always capable of imploding, as they did at Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City last season.

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Capturing Khedira from Real Madrid would be a huge step in the right direction towards curing Arsenal of their inherent weakness and it is good news that Wenger is keen to address these shortcomings. If they can cut out the hidings to rival clubs, perhaps they could be genuine title contenders.

That is why Khedira would be a superb signing for Arsenal. I’ve always said about Arsenal that they would be one of the easiest clubs in the world to sign players for because what they are missing has always been so glaring, and never gets addressed.

At least now they are addressing one of their big weaknesses: having that formidable presence in midfield. Khedira is the type of player that Arsenal need and who can help them when they are not playing well. He is physically strong and, if he does indeed sign for the club, will give them something extra.

It does slightly surprise me that with him being available at a good price, Chelsea and Jose Mourinho haven’t pushed more to sign him. Khedira performed very well under Mourinho at Real Madrid but perhaps they feel Nemanja Matic is a bit ahead of him.

Wenger, conversely, seems to have developed a strategy with Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and now possibly Khedira, where he picks up players from the two Spanish giants as soon as they are deemed expendable, and it’s not a bad strategy to go with. You know they have quality, suit a style that is conducive to Arsenal and are used to playing with pressure. You are already halfway there.

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If he does come to Arsenal then I think it would have to be at the expense of Mikel Arteta. They have an awful lot of midfield players at the moment and Arteta looks vulnerable in the first XI. Wenger has realised that increasingly it’s a running game in midfield and you have to be able to get around. You have to have many qualities.

I don’t think Arsene Wenger would ever go the whole way and get a full defensive midfielder – someone like Victor Wanyama or Javier Mascherano. He wants someone who is multi-facted and can use the ball. But, crucially, Khedira is still the kind of player you need when you are up against it and that’s the kind of player Arsenal have been lacking.

They need someone who can help wrest control of a game, or shut it down when things are getting out of control. They need someone who has played at the highest level, both club and internationally, and Khedira fulfils all of those requirements.

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He offers you a bit of everything. His defensive work is proactive. He doesn’t stand and wait for things to happen. He gets involved and in truth is more of a No. 8 or an all-action midfield player. He even scores a few goals and has a knack of timing his runs well – and he will link up well with Mesut Ozil given their history together with both Germany and Real Madrid.

Spaniards used to be in vogue but now it’s Germans, and you know exactly what you are going to get from them: technical excellence and a fighting spirit. It’s very rare they let you down. The only thing that slightly worries me about Khedira is that he sometimes comes across as a better international footballer than at club level.

He suffered from a serious injury last season but there was never any question that they wouldn’t take him to Brazil, not with his track record for Germany, and it was only a matter of time before he found his form at the World Cup. In the semi-final against Brazil, Khedira produced one of the outstanding performances of any player.

If Wenger can get him to reproduce his Germany form for Arsenal then he could be a big, big signing.

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