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Bundesliga: Sami Khedira joins Hertha Berlin

February 1, 2021

Hertha Berlin have made their move for World Cup winner Sami Khedira as the club looks to avoid relegation. The former Stuttgart midfielder arrives from Juventus, where he had fallen out of favor.

Deutschland Sami Khedira | Wechsel zu Hertha BSC Berlin
Image: Herbert Rudel/Sportfoto Rudel/imago images

Hertha Berlin are once again making headlines. The signing of Sami Khedira is a coup for the crisis-ridden club. The 33-year-old has been drafted to help Hertha fend off the threat of relegation and lead them back to where they believe they belong.

"Hertha put in a lot of effort to sign me, for which I am very grateful," said Khedira in a statement on the club's website announcing the move.

"I can barely wait to be on the pitch in a blue-and-white shirt for the first time," he added.

Hertha's chairman of the board, Carsten Schmidt, has high hopes for his new addition: "I think he is a great leader; a very successful footballer who has been through many professional clubs and gained a lot of experience there," Schmidt told Sky Sport Germany. "Hertha was a development club under Michael Preetz, and a very successful one by the way. But now it's an attack club. We want to get to Europe."

No relegation experience

Only a week after parting ways with sporting director Michael Preetz, who was accused of a sheepish transfer policy in light of the millions of euros invested by financial backer Lars Windhorst, Hertha has now afforded themselves a notable addition. Just one day after defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt marked a disappointing return for coach Pal Dardai, Khedira officially passed his medical exam in Berlin.

In recent months, Mario Götze and Julian Draxler, among others, have been offered to Hertha. However, the signing of Khedira, whose Juventus contract was due to expire this summer, raises a number of questions. In no other position does Dardai have as many options as in the central defensive midfield, with Lucas Tousart, Matteo Guendouzi, Niklas Stark, Eduard Löwen and Santiago Ascacibar already part of the squad.

It is also questionable whether Khedira, having never had to deal with a relegation battle, is a suitable addition. Nevertheless, he does bring more experience than any of Hertha's other options in the position. Dardai bemoaned that lack of experience following the defeat in Frankfurt.

Sami Khedira holds and points to the World Cup trophy after winning with Germany in 2014
Sami Khedira was an integral part of Germany's 2014 World Cup winning team.Image: picture-alliance/dpa/Marcelo Sayao

Back in the Bundesliga

Khedira was sidelined at Juventus under coach Andrea Pirlo, despite the 33-year-old having won five Scudettos and three Coppa Italia titles with Juve, where he played 145 games, contributing 21 goals. He played his last professional game in June 2020 and his last Serie A game in November 2019.

"He hasn't had any competitive practice for a long time now, so there are still many questions to be answered," Schmidt admitted. Khedira came to Juventus from Real Madrid in 2015, after five years with the current Spanish champions.

Khedira's international breakthrough came during the World Cup in South Africa in 2010. Four years later, he was a central figure in Germany's 2014 World Cup triumph. However, Khedira became a casualty of the 2018 World Cup debacle and hasn't been selected for the national team since its early exit in Russia.

Recently, Khedira has been nagged by injuries, including knee operations and an adductor injury, and in February 2019, he was forced to undergo heart surgery due to an irregular heartbeat.

og,mds/pfd (sid, dpa)

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