Arsene Wenger has a wonderful array of midfield options in his Arsenal squad, but the addition of a strong defensive midfielder like Sami Khedira could be the key to opening up the attack and getting the most out of the team.
Chris Richards of the Mirror writes that Arsenal is preparing a £23 million bid for the Real Madrid star. Wenger believes Khedira can bring the best out of Mesut Ozil, his former teammate at Real Madrid, as per Richards.
Khedira would not only provide a reassuring presence for Ozil, but his smart, capable play could make him the perfect central operator for all of Arsenal's attacking midfielders.
Mathieu Flamini played the holding role well for the Gunners in 2013-14, but he is three years older than Khedira and lacks his size and athleticism. He's also very little threat going forward.
The 27-year-old German can protect the backline as a holding midfielder, and he can play more of a box-to-box role if Wenger needs extra men forward in attack. He's also very strong in the air. Arsenal has a tendency to crumble on set pieces, and Khedira would be a huge size upgrade over the likes of Mikel Arteta or Jack Wilshere.
The stability he brings to the midfield could create a springboard for Wilshere, Ozil and especially Aaron Ramsey.
Ramsey scored 16 goals in 35 appearances across all competitions for Arsenal in 2013-2014. He still managed to make 3.3 tackles per game in the Premier League, as per WhoScored.com. Khedira could take care of some of those defensive duties for the Welshman. A healthy Ramsey with the ability to focus nearly 100 percent of his powers on making marauding runs into the box is a frightening proposition for the rest of the clubs in England.
The link between Ozil and Khedira is obvious and well known. When Ozil transferred to Arsenal from Madrid, Khedira had nothing but praise for his friend.
"Mesut is a genius on the field -- there is no other way to describe him. There was some disappointment among Madrid’s players because he is the best in the world in his position, but I understand his decision as a player and a friend," said Khedira in October 2013, via the Daily Mail's Richard Arrowsmith.
Khedira's presence could be a boost to Ozil, who didn't quite reach top form last season with Arsenal.
The addition of Khedira could create a bit of a selection dilemma for Wenger. Mikel Arteta would likely find his spot in jeopardy; he already split time with Flamini last season. And Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain—who has shown flashes of brilliance in the middle of the pitch—might be forced to continue his development as a winger, with Ramsey and Wilshere getting the majority of playing time in the middle.
Which position is Arsenal's biggest need in the summer transfer window?
Khedira would likely fit in quite well at Arsenal; current Gunners Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski are all playing alongside Khedira for the German national team in the 2014 World Cup. However, his position may not be a priority, as Wenger could use a new right back to replace the departing Bacary Sagna and another striker to pair with Olivier Giroud.
If Khedira is truly on the move, he might also be keen on joining Chelsea and reuniting with Jose Mourinho—who was his manager for three seasons in Madrid. Arsenal may have to fight to gain the services of Khedira this summer, but he would be a very rewarding pickup.
He would have to be better than Kim Kallstrom, right?