He may have come out of retirement to play for FC Goa in the inaugural Indian Premier League season, but Bobby Pires still has one eye on Arsenal’s fortunes.
Having trained regularly with the Gunners over the last few years the sexpot ‘invincible’ still believes there’s something missing from Arsene Wenger’s current squad and has called on his former coach to take a chance on Sami Khedira.
The German World Cup winner has been strongly tipped to quit Real Madrid in January before he becomes a free agent next summer and Pires thinks he could be a physical, box-to-box presence like former teammate Patrick Vieira.
“He [Wenger] needs a big player in the middle, like Viera, strong, tall, because this position is very important for the balance between attack and defence,” Pires told Telegraph Sport.
“The quality is there but you need more, maybe [someone] like Yaya Toure in middle. He reminds me of Patrick Vieira, maybe they have an opportuniuty with Khedira. It is likely in the January window. He played very well with Germany.
“My advice is if he can buy Khedira he can be the [new] Vieira, more aggression in the middle. He has a lot of experience. When you play in the middle you need experience, especially when your midfield is young like Arsenal’s.”
Back in August Wenger dismissed suggestions that Arsenal were trying to buy the 27-year-old midfielder instead highlighting the options already at disposal, “I don’t know who has put Khedira on the market – is it his agent or the press? We were never close to signing him.”
There won’t be many who argue with Pires suggestion that we need to strengthen at the spine of midfield, although Khedira’s qualities aren’t exactly that of an archetypal defence-minded player.
Could he fulfil the DM role better than Flamini and Arteta? Quite possibly. Will he be a priority come the New Year? Probably not given we’ve 11 first team midfielders (some of them are still fit) and we’re desperately short of defensive cover.