While Sami Khedira’s inclusion in Germany’s provisional 30-man World Cup squad last month was initially considered a gamble by manager Joachim Low, the decision now looks to have proved an inspired one.
Khedira spent most of the past six months sidelined by injury, after suffering a torn ACL during a friendly against Italy in November, before making a miraculous recovery to return in time for Real Madrid’s final few games of the season.
Having played just 180 minutes of club football in 2014 however, serious doubts remained over the midfielder’s fitness going into the tournament, but any immediate concerns appear to have been put to bed following Monday’s performance against Portugal.
Rewarding Low’s faith in his abilities, Khedira justified his selection in the starting lineup in place of Bastian Schweinsteiger with a standout performance in the heart of the German midfield, as his role pulling the strings in the centre of the park proved decisive towards the emphatic 4-0 win.
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With those kinds of showings, it’s no wonder the £16 million-rated man has attracted the recent interest of both Arsenal and Chelsea, with the penchant he exhibited for charging forward over the course of the 90 minutes belittling comparisons often made to Manchester United’s Michael Carrick.
Khedira could no doubt attract more potential suitors over the coming weeks should his side continue to steamroll their opposition but, with an intense schedule of games ahead, the true test will be seeing whether his fitness can hold up in the gruelling South American conditions.
With his slick passing, solid work-rate and general all-round aptitude alongside Philippe Lahm in the midfield pivot, the ex-Stuttgart star is set to take up a crucial role for his national side this summer, as Die Mannschaft look like one of the more formidable outfits in Brazil based on the first round of group matches.