Arsenal target Tolgay Arslan as Khedira alternative - report

Arsenal are set to keep a close eye on 24-year-old Hamburg defensive midfielder Tolgay Arslan, according to reports.

According to reports in the Daily Mail, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is eyeing a move for Hamburg defensive midfielder Tolgay Arslan.

The Gunners have suffered due to the lack of a dominant holding player for several years now and Wenger sees the 24-year-old as a man capable of filling that void. The club have reportedly spoken to the the player's representatives and will be keeping tabs on his performances over the coming months.

Wenger is said to be keen to recruit the 24-year-old, who would feel at ease with the club's current style of play. A hard worker by trade, the German-born midfielder would provide much-needed bite in midfield, while he is well suited to the Emirates outfit's short passing game.

Having undertaken the transition from an attack-minded player into a defensive midfielder since the beginning of his career, Arslan possesses technical ability in abundance, as well as a defensive mind-set. An accomplished passer - he recorded an 85% completion rate last term - and a lethal dribbler - 75% success - he is well suited to the 'Arsenal way'.

Wenger looked to have his sights set on Real Madrid's Sami Khedira but, with the German international potentially heading to Bayern Munich, Arslan could prove the perfect alternative.

Three years his junior, the 24-year-old could even prove a better long-term signing than the world-class German. Furthermore, with a lesser reputation, he would experience far less pressure during his settling in period in England; we've all witnessed the negative impact such expectations have had on Mesut Ozil, for instance. 

Available on a free transfer next summer, Arslan is reportedly seeking wages of around £40,000 per week to make the move to north London. Alternatively, he could be available for a cut-price move in January.

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