Reports that Arsene Wenger will go back to Real Madrid to sign Mesut Ozil’s fellow German international Sami Khedira will have Gooner fans salivating, but a glance at their record together in Los Blancos’ midfield suggests the north Londoners should keep their cheque book closed.
Wenger’s boys are 5/4 to kick off their Champions League campaign with a win at Marseille and the travelling Emirates faithful will be buzzing following rumours that Khedira could be interested in following Ozil to their club next summer.
The 26-year-old left Stuttgart for Spain’s capital in July 2010, less than a month before his Nationalmannschaft teammate moved to Madrid from Werder Bremen after the pair impressed in Germany’s run to the semi-finals of that year’s World Cup.
Capturing Khedira would be another huge coup for Wenger as Manchester Utd reportedly had a £40m bid knocked back at the end of the last transfer window.
However, a glance at Los Merengues’ form last term when utilising the Ozil/Khedira axis should give the Frenchman cause to pause.
Real only won half of the twenty Champions League, La Liga and Copa Del Rey matches the pair started together in 2012/13, losing six times and taking a share of the spoils on four occasions.
In the 32 ties in all competitions which didn’t feature this combination in the starting line-up Real’s chances were vastly improved, with victories in 23 games representing a win rate of 72 per cent.
The Gunners may point to their lack of height in the centre of the park as a reason to snap up the 6ft 2in holding player, but another £40m-plus on a midfielder when Aaron Ramsey is in such cracking form smacks of bad business, especially considering Arsenal are still light on centre-forwards.
Wenger was forced to use 18-year-old striker Chuba Akpom from the bench against Sunderland when Olivier Giroud picked up a knock in injury time as Yaya Sanogo – the 20-year-old summer signing from Auxerre who has yet to start for Arsenal – is sidelined with a back complaint.