Robert Pires, an integral member of Arsenal's Premier League winning 'Invincibles' in 2004, says that the club can still challenge for the league this season if they sign Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira in January.
The Gunners had been linked with a move for Germany's World Cup winner during the summer, and Pires believes that if they go for him again in January manager Arsene Wenger will have finally found the replacement he has been looking for since former captain Patrick Vieira left the club in 2005. Khedira is in the final year of his contract at Real, although he has also interested Bayern Munich.
The French winger Pires is currently playing in India, for Goa FC in the inaugural Indian Super League.
"He [Wenger] needs a big player in the middle, like Vieira, strong, tall, because this position is very important for the balance between attack and defence,” the 40-year-old told the Daily Telegraph.
"The quality is there but you need more, maybe [someone] like Yaya Toure in middle. He reminds me of Patrick Vieira, maybe they have an opportunity with Khedira.
Arsenal's injury list
Arsenal's injury list
1/5 Mikel Arteta (midfield)
Like Diaby, the Spaniard is closing in on a return but the Swansea match will come to soon. The club captain last played in November.
2/5 Mathieu Debuchy (defender)
Returned in the FA Cup semi-final win over Reading but has since been ruled out with injury and Wenger confirmed he remains 'unavailable'.
3/5 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (midfield)
Suffered a hamstring injury against Manchester United in the FA Cup and hasn't played since as it has exacerbated a groin problem. Out at least until May and facing surgery in the summer.
4/5 Aaron Ramsey (midfield)
Aaron Ramsey caught a kick on his calf during the win over Hull and was later substituted. The Welshman was rated 50/50 for the Swansea match by Wenger, but it now appears that he is a major doubt for the clash at the Emirates.
5/5 Danny Welbeck (forward)
Danny Welbeck has not played since the goalless draw with Chelsea towards the end of April after suffering a knee injury. Wenger has confirmed that the injury is 'nothing major', and that he should return to full fitness before the end of the season.
"It is likely in the January window. He played very well with Germany. My advice is if he can buy Khedira he can be the Vieira, more aggression in the middle.
"He has a lot of experience. When you play in the middle you need experience, especially when your midfield is young like Arsenal's."
"They have nine points difference with Chelsea but we can still win the league," he added. "It's very difficult but in football everything is possible."
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