There’s no hiding the fact that Arsenal are in desperate need of a genuine holding midfielder, and Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Christoph Kramer continues to show that he is the man for the job.
The 23-year-old German has been on loan at Gladbach from parent club Bayer Leverkusen since 2013, where his impressive form has seen both break into the national team and attract interest from a host of top European clubs.
Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur have all been linked to his signature in recent months, amid speculation that he could be allowed to move in the winter transfer window if Leverkusen receive an enticing enough offer.
In the meantime, all the World Cup-winner can do is keep putting in impressive performances at Borussia-Park, such as the one against FC Zurich in his side’s final Europa League group game, in which his all-action midfield showing helped inspire the hosts to a convincing 3-0 win.
|Total Tackles||Won Tackles||Interceptions||Total Dribbles||Successful Dribbles||Total Pass||Passing Accuracy||Total Long Balls||Accurate Long Balls||Touches||Dispossessed||Mins Played|
Valued at around £12 million, Kramer's price tag could be set to rise as interest hots up, but Arsene Wenger is reported to have funds to burn this winter in his quest to find a long-term replacement for veterans Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini.
The Leverkusen loanee himself has remained tight-lipped on his future in recent months amid all the speculation, telling German publication Kicker this week: "Bayer Leverkusen? So far nothing has been decided.
“Although I feel very well here, I have a contract with Leverkusen and will be there in summer, as I know so far."
Nevertheless, Kramer admitted just last month that a move abroad would be of interest to him, having been told of Real manager Carlo Ancelotti’s supposed interested in his signature.
"That [moving abroad] has always interested me," he told Hamburger Abendblatt. "I would not be afraid. I want to find out what my limit is and I always strive for the very best.
“To be linked with Real Madrid is an enormous honour for me."
How things will unfold in the New Year for the eight-times capped international remains to be seen but, given his strength, passing skills and tireless work rate, there’s no doubt that he should be one of the top names on Arsenal’s transfer wishlist.
Given all the rival interest, it won’t be a straightforward task bringing him to the Emirates Stadium, but Wenger needs to do something to turn around the club’s recent malaise, and this could be one of his first steps towards doing so.