Who should replace Khedira in Germany’s World Cup starting XI?

Germany have been handed a blow in their preparations for next summer’s World Cup, with Sami Khedira tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in their recent friendly with Italy.

The Real Madrid box-to-box man has become an important figure in Joachim Löw’s midfield, and there are concerns that he will not be fit in time to feature at the World Cup.

Khedira has been ruled out for the rest of the domestic club season, with the 26-year-old facing a battle against time to be fit for the competition in Brazil.

With Bastian Schweinsteiger likely to take up one of the central midfield positions in the nation’s 4-2-3-1 formation, who are the contenders to take Khedira’s place if he is unavailable?

Philipp Lahm

Philipp LahmThe Germany captain has been shifted from full-back into central midfield by Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich, and there is certainly a case to suggest that the same could happen at national level.

The 30-year-old has fitted seamlessly into the Bayern midfield, with his industrious work-rate, poise on the ball and leadership immediately apparent.

With his club partnership with Schweinsteiger and the pair more than likely playing together week-in, week-out in the Bayern midfield once the former comes back from injury, it makes sense. Having the captain and vice-captain in the boiler room could be an inspired move.

Lars Bender

One of Khedira’s qualities is his tireless work-rate, but the introduction of the Bayer Leverkusen man could see an even more energetic player take his place.

Bender has been starring at club level, and would be an ideal foil for Schweinsteiger due to his stamina and combativeness, allowing the Bayern man to run the possession game.

A viable option, Bender has very similar attributes to the man that Germany may have to replace.

İlkay Gündoğan

İlkay GündoğanThe Borussia Dortmund midfielder has injury concerns of his own currently, but if he can get back to the form he displayed last term he will certainly be on the plane to Brazil.

Gündoğan’s range of passing is arguably better than Khedira’s, and there was every chance that the Dortmund man would be pushing for inclusion even if Low had all his options available to him.

A supremely able playmaker, Germany would not be weakened if Gündoğan was to replace Khedira.

Sven Bender

Lars’ twin brother, the Dortmund man is less experienced at international level, but has been a key part in his club side’s rise to prominence over the last number of seasons.

Sven Bender would be a more defensive choice from Löw, but his presence would tighten things up in the centre of the park and allow the players ahead of him more freedom to concentrate on attacking play.

Worthy of more game time for his country, in a tight match against a competition favourite, the Dortmund man could be a very effective midfield enforcer.

Roman Neustädter

Roman NeustädterAn outside bet to be included, the Schalke man has been in good form at club level this term and is a no-nonsense midfielder that looks to boss the game in front of his back four.

Playing in a similar role in Gelsenkirchen to Khedira in Madrid, Neustädter could well be the workhorse that Germany need to allow others to flourish.

He only has two international caps to his name, but is capable of increasing this considerably if he can continue the clear progression he has made since signing for Schalke last summer.

By
I am a freelance football journalist from Northern Ireland living in Broome in Western Australia. I have worked for top media outlets such as FourFourTwo, goal.com, Soccerlens, Football Fancast and Here is the City. I am a lifelong and long-suffering Tottenham fan. Follow me on Twitter at @90MinsOnline
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