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Khedira Joins Real Madrid, But Can He Cut It At The Bernabeu?


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.

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  1. Real Madrid

    July 30, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    This signing is interesting. I hope that Maurinho has given the green light for this transfer and not been left aside while the president just bought the best player in the WC. Then it would be Maurinho job to make a jigsaw puzzle with the team as it has been the case with all the latest 8 coaches.

    Now Madrid have Lassana Diarra, Muhammed Diarra, Gago, Alonso and Granero – now Khedira as well. So 6 players for 2 places. Cool.

    Gago is not the standard of Madrid, and he was wanted by some clubs. So hopefully he will leave. Granero failed to impress last year, but he may be given another year. M. Diarra he does not want to leave. If Lassana recovers his form, Khedira must compete with him for the first 11. Alonso is irreplaceable as it was shown during the WC and he rarely gets injured.

    The question is Madrid has not yet bought a quality left back and for some reason they are chasing Maicon where we have world class player Ramos and also Lassana can play at that position, apart from Arbeloa who played there half a season after Pepe was injured.

    Again I hope Maurinho was involved in this transfer for the benefit of both Khedira and Madrid.

    Hala Madrid

  2. Diriye

    July 30, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    The issues with Real has been matching players with their system of play. Kaka being prime example of not only under Pellegirini but Mour­inho especially the arrival of Khedira and Di Maria.

    Reals Front and attacking Midfield 4-2-3-1
    Ronaldo—- Kaka—– Di Maria

    With this formation you have issues with Kaka and Khedira getting each others ways in supporting Di Maria and Higuan, unless Khedira sacrifices his game and plays as destroyer. Like Stutgart and under 21 Khedira loves to attack in the center and on the left side overalapping Higuan and Di Maria which could be a plus for Real. This reduces Kaka’s effectiveness further. It would be interesting to see how the special one sorts this out. Kaka could be gone by January.

    Alonso has excellent passing game but he lacks the movement off the ball. You don’t see him attacking as much as Khedira on the left, or behind the striker. When he makes a pass he loves to sit and wait for a long shot. This is why Khedira has great chance in supporting the attack and the other centeral midfielder to be doing defensive duties mainly.

    • Dylan Thomas

      July 30, 2010 at 6:48 pm

      Yeah, and I also think another problem at Real Madrid is consistency of play. Every year or two, they have a new manager and a lot of new players. This is problematic, because with each new manager or each new batch of players comes a new style of play. I think, though, that if any manager can turn Real Madrid into the world-beating team that they were, it is Jose Mourinho.

      I just hope Khedira will be able to play an integral part in the team, instead of having to wait for his chance behind players like Gago and Diarra.

  3. Diriye

    July 30, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Khedira simplly shrugged off too much expectation and the pressure at the biggest stage, replacing Ballack, it is doubtful he won’t exceed that at Real, bunch of overpaid losers. ok before Jose Mour­inho.

    Khedira and Di maria would become the two most consistent signings for real in long time. Alonso is static passer which reduces his affectiveness, Gago and Diarra don’t have attacking game they are more comfortable in defending. So there is a great chance that Khedira will get closer to what Redondo was able to do. His runs, passing, movement off the ball will get Madrid’s static and predicatible centeral midfield moving.

    Khedira may also not develop too much ego to disrupt his standing in the NT. He shares has too much history and respect with under 19 Champs guys like Neuer, Ozil, and Boateng. You also have a down to earth guy whom Khedira looks upto, Mesut Özil.

    • Dylan Thomas

      July 30, 2010 at 4:06 pm

      I don’t think Alonso is a static passer at all. He has some of the best long-range passing I’ve seen. Also, Diarra does have an attacking game. So does Gago. Mourinho will want one of the two central midfielders to be sitting farther back though anyway, so the fact that they’ve comfortable in defense means that Khedira has to be able to be comfortable in defense as well. They way I see it, these are two possible partnerships.

      Alonso – Khedira and Gago – Diarra. Here, Khedira and Diarra are the sitting midfielders. I think Khedira competing with Diarra is a lot more realistic than Khedira competing with Alonso for a place in the team.

      I think this’ll be much harder for Khedira than it looks at first.

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