Stuttgart’s Sami Khedira caught the attention of European giants Real Madrid after a very successful World Cup tournament, where the young midfielder impressed with battling displays in midfield. Now, he has completed a move to the Bernabeu for a reported 15 million Euros.
At first glance, many will simply congratulate Khedira on securing a move to one of the most decorated clubs in the game. They will also praise the fact that Khedira will now be surrounded by some of the greatest players in the world, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Ramos, Iker Casillas and many others. Fans may also say that with Khedira’s move to Madrid, he will improve as a player under the tutelage of the world-class coaching of Jose Mourinho.
While all this may be true, it is also true that Khedira’s career could potentially be harshly hampered after securing a move to Spain with Real Madrid. First, he will be battling for a first-team spot with the likes of Xabi Alonso, Lassana Diarra, Fernando Gago and Esteban Granero. None of these players are at all second-rate. And, at Khedira’s relatively young age, a few faulty games when he is given the chance to impress could mean Khedira will be riding the bench until further notice.
The point can be made that Khedira will take in a new type of football at Real Madrid with Jose Mourinho, and that when he represents Germany he will only add to their already stellar tactical setup, but it could also serve to damage Khedira on the international stage. Before the World Cup ended, every player in the German 23-man squad were playing their club football in Germany. I believe that this has something to do with the way they got their heads down and disciplined themselves and were so ruthless and fearless during their World Cup run. But, with players moving away from Germany and adding new aspects to their game, this could take away from what has made them the players they are.
Though, should Khedira impress at the Bernabeu alongside Xabi Alonso, he will go on to great things. Under the tutelage and the prestige of a world-class manager like Jose Mourinho, we may be seeing an absolute gem of a midfielder as he matures at Real Madrid. But, if he fails to settle in immediately and begin to make an impact, he will be brushed aside and someone else, likely Gago or Diarra, will be brought in to take his place. The harsh reality at a massive club like Real Madrid, like Chelsea, like Manchester United, for example, is that if a player does not make the impact he should make, then another player will be brought into the team to do that job.
The pressure, then, is certainly on Khedira now. He joins Real Madrid with the reputation he gained after partnering Bastian Schweinsteiger in Germany’s midfield. Let’s hope he settles in at the Bernabeu in Madrid as well as he settled in under Joachim Loew in South Africa.