Arsenal handed major warning over £23m World Cup winning midfielder target

Sami Khedira

Arsenal are reportedly pushing ahead with a deal to sign Real Madrid's Sami Khedira.

The Gunners finally ended their nine-year trophy drought in May with a 3-2 FA Cup final win over Hull City, and fans are now hopeful of a prolonged title challenge. The £32m capture of Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez has given Arsenal supporters the belief that they can compete for the best best players in the world, and more arrivals are expected this summer.

There are a number of holes that manager Arsene Wenger needs to fill; a second choice goalkeeper behind Wojciech Szczesny, right back after the departure of Bacary Sagna, centre back if Thomas Vermaelen leaves for Manchester United, centre forward to relieve some of the pressure from Olivier Giroud, and, arguably most importantly, defensive midfield.

Wenger's men have long been seen as a brittle side who don't like it when teams get physical with them, and fans have been crying out for an enforcing midfielder for some time.

It seems that the Frenchman has now realised this with a serious bid to sign Real Madrid's Khedira, who is slipping down the pecking order with Luka Modric and Xabi Alonso already in place, whilst Khedira's international team mate Toni Kroos is on his way to the Spanish capital this summer to join Carlo Ancelotti's men.

Whilst Kroos and Khedira both tasted the ultimate footballing success last night, Wenger was handed a huge warning with Khedira's absence in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday night. The 27-year-old missed the game with a calf injury sustained in the warm-up, and whilst this may be seen as an isolated incident, there are growing concerns over the German's fitness.

Khedira tore his anterior cruciate ligmaent in November, just making it back in time for the World Cup. An ACL tear is a tough injury to come back from, and whilst he impressed at times in Brazil, he did also show some signs of rust - understandable after such an injury.

Arsenal really can't afford to be paying over £23m to snap up a midfielder who will be plagued by niggling injuries, particularly as Mathieu Flamini, Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby all have extensive injury histories too. Khedira's energy and physicality make him a great fit for what Arsenal need, but Arsenal have to be 100% sure that his knee is fully healed - or at least will be before the start of the season - as well as ensuring that Sunday's injury was simply bad luck.

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