With Jose Mourinho so firmly installed as the favourite to take over from Rafa Benitez at Stamford Bridge, speculation has already turned to what players the Portuguese manager will look to sign in his first summer back at the club he left in 2007.
Chelsea’s focus on signing a top class striker has meant that Radamel Falcao, Hulk and Edinson Cavani are all being regularly mooted as in line for a summer switch to Stamford Bridge, but if there is one player that Mourinho could bring with him from Real Madrid – and assuming Cristiano Ronaldo is not available – then Sami Khedira could be a fantastic signing for the Blues.
Whilst Khedira has none of the glamour of the names more frequently linked with Chelsea, the German midfielder has quietly become an integral part of Mourinho’s side at Real Madrid, breaking up the opposition play and also bringing a forceful dynamism to their attacks when he does break forward.
In this way Khedira fits the mould of a Mourinho player, and looking at Chelsea’s current options in the centre of midfield, it is clear that he would be a substantial improvement. John Obi Mikel is still not convincing either as a defensive screen or when given a little more freedom, David Luiz is a defender – a very fine one who should remain in the back four – and their other options are too attacking to sit at the base of their midfield.
Khedira has the technical chops to supply Chelsea’s prolific attacking midfielders with a steady supply of possession whilst also protecting the defence. Playing for Real Madrid and Germany he is used to playing intense, pressing football, and he has proved an excellent foil for both side’s star-filled attacks.
In his first spell at Chelsea, Mourinho had both Claude Makelele and Michael Essien to call on in the centre of midfield, and if he was to return this summer this would surely be an area of the pitch he would look to strengthen. Khedira might not be the superstar first signing that will be expected at Stamford Bridge, but the German midfielder could be a crucial part of their team over the next few seasons if Mourinho could tempt him to the Blues.