Remember when Arsenal were supposed to be on the verge of signing Sami Khedira? And that Khedira was the answer to all of Arsenal's defensive midfield needs? Well, today Arsène Wenger has rubbished both notions, saying that Arsenal were never close for Khedira: "I don't know who has put Khedira on the market - is it his agent or the press?"
Furthermore, Wenger said Arsenal were never close to signing him because Jack Wilshere is back fit, and Khedira is an offensive box to box midfielder, not a defensive midfielder:
Wenger rules out Sami Khedira move: "We were never close to signing him because we have quite a few offensive box-to-box players." #AFC— Kevin Palmer (@kpsundayworld) August 7, 2014
That, then ends the rather ridiculous assumption that Wenger was going to buy Khedira and convert him into a defensive midfielder on the basis that he's physical. Many may point to Wenger's 'conversion' of Mikel Arteta, but Arteta grew up as a 'pivote' in the Barcelona system, and had the attributes necessary for the position. Khedira's best qualities are his strength and engine, best shown on long distance runs and doing things that box to box midfielders do. At club and country, he was often deployed alongside deeper lying midfielders, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Xabi Alonso, who held and passed as his passing is substandard for the position. The rumour never made much sense and Wenger has finally killed its dying embers.