With matches against Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund upcoming, it promises to be a big week for Arsenal. On the back of a 2-1 defeat to Swansea City in the Premier League and an extraordinary collapse to only draw 3-3 with Anderlecht, Arsenal badly need to get back on track. Indeed, midfielder Aaron Ramsey has spoken of an opportunity to “turn our season around.” That Arsenal are in a position of having to do so after a summer that started with such optimism is undoubtedly a major cause for frustration around the Emirates Stadium. And, having spent considerably, but arguably not particularly wisely, in the summer, manager Arsene Wenger could well be compelled to enter the transfer market in January.
One of the areas of his squad that Wenger again neglected in the summer was defensive midfielder. With Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini struggling for form and fitness, the lack of a commanding presence in front of the back four has been particularly pronounced. Arsenal’s reported attempts to bring Sami Khedira to the Emirates from Real Madrid proved fruitless, and there now looks little prospect of him arriving in January.
The German World Cup winner has rejected the chance to sign a new contract with the Champions League holders and looks set to leave at the end of the season, with other clubs able to negotiate a pre-contract agreement from January. However, despite claims of late that Arsenal were closing in on agreeing an immediate transfer when the window reopens, an injury to fellow Madrid midfielder Luka Modric is believed to have strengthened Madrid’s resolve not to let Khedira go before the end of the season. According to Spanish outlet Marca, both Carlo Ancelotti and the club are categorical that he won’t move in January.
With Khedira seemingly unavailable to provide immediate assistance, there have been reports that Arsenal will instead turn to Sevilla’s Poland midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak. The 24-year-old only moved to the La Liga club in the summer after spending the early years of his career in France, yet his performances are thought to have attracted the attention of some of Europe’s major players, including the Gunners. It is easy to see why, with Krychowiak having averaged more tackles and interceptions in the league this season than both Arteta and Flamini, according to statistics provided by Who Scored. Yet Sevilla’s sporting director Monchi has insisted there is currently nothing in the pipeline regarding Krychowiak’s exit.
“We've not received any offer for him,” he told Radio Marca. “Things are going very well with Krychowiak. We're going to let him enjoy being at Sevilla because he's delighted to be here. There's nothing [to announce].”
The third midfielder linked with Arsenal of late is Croatian Marcelo Brozovic. According to the Daily Mirror, Arsenal’s interest has increased to the point that they sent scouts to watch the 21-year-old in action against Italy on Sunday. It’s thought the highly rated talent could now be the subject of a £5 million offer from the Emirates Stadium in January.
A more distant possibility is Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech moving across London to join Arsenal for £7 million in January. Still, that is the speculation that has done the rounds in several British tabloids, with Wenger said to be eyeing the Czech veteran as cover for the injured David Ospina and to provide serious competition for Wojciech Szczesny. Although Cech could well be set to end his 10-year stay at Stamford Bridge after being usurped between the posts by Thibaut Courtois, Arsenal is an improbable destination. Cech would demand regular first-team action and Wenger doesn’t appear ready to give up on both Szczesny and the only recently signed Ospina.