Chelsea

Chelsea’s New Ballack …Or?

Sami Khedira was a relative unknown before this summer’s World Cup. But in South Africa, the German midfielder became the lynchpin of Die Mannschaft and executed link-up play between attack and defence to the envy of a seated, anguished Michael Ballack. Consequently, the 23-year-old has now become the subject of some serious speculation suggesting that a transfer to one of Europe’s biggest names is in the offing.

It’s incredible to think that the youngster only made his international debut in September last year. Even after his first appearance, Khedira could hardly be labeled as a regular. After making his debut against South Africa, he missed out on the next two friendlies before making a substitute appearance against Argentina. Following that, Khedira then had the temerity to challenge Michael Ballack’s position in the squad by deputizing in quite exceptionable fashion for the injury-stricken midfielder.

Although he may not have been a well renowned name prior to this year’s World Cup, his talents were well known at his club VfB Stuttgart, wherein he has been a custodian since the age of eight.

After signing a professional contract for the German club in 2006, Khedira became an instant regular in the first team and scored twice in a memorable 3-0 league win over Schalke 04.

His instinctive positioning, robust physique and exemplary industriousness aided Stuttgart to the title that year. Two years later, the midfielder captained the German U-21 side to glory in the European Championships.

Now with 11 international caps now to his name, and his twelfth surely to come in the 3rd/4th place playoff against Uruguay, Khedira is being watched closely by Real Madrid, Manchester United and Chelsea.

Jose Mourinho is reportedly interested in bringing him to the Bernabeu to bolster the Madrid defence in a holding role which may extract the best from Xabi Alonso’s play. Contemporaneously, Carlo Ancelotti, having just dismissed the man for whom Khedira deputized at the World Cup from Stamford Bridge, may see him as the ideal candidate to replace him at Chelsea. Meanwhile, Manchester United are simultaneously considering their options with a view to making an offer for the midfielder after apparently being warned off a move for Wesley Sneijder.

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