Christian Karembeu believes Arsene Wenger only requires two big signings this summer
Head tennis: Christian Karembeu and England Women star Eni Aluko launch the Uefa Champions Festival this morning
Christian Karembeu believes Arsenal only need two good signings this summer if they are to become genuine title challengers again.
Karembeu, who won the World Cup with France and the Champions League twice with Real Madrid, is a good friend of Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and regularly works with his countryman on French TV.
Unsurprisingly, he believes Germany is the place to look for new blood in the wake of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund’s success in reaching the Champions League final at Wembley this season.
But Karembeu is sure Wenger does not need to add too much to the squad which secured Champions League qualification again in nail-biting fashion on Sunday.
‘They finished the season very well, so I think they only need two players,’ said Karembeu, who is in London ahead of Saturday’s Wembley showpiece.
‘It was hard work but they came through and got fourth place. It means they are not far off being a great team.
‘I have not been surprised by these German teams [doing so well]. They [Germany] have great players in Ozil, Khedira, Schweinsteiger and Reus, who have been allowed to mature. I’m sure English teams will be looking at Germany [for signings].’
Karembeu has claimed it is a real shame England does not have any representation in the Wembley Champions League final.
Europe’s most glamorous football match returns to London for the second time in three years but without any home clubs involved.
Bayern and Borussia will do battle for the European Cup on Saturday night and Karembeu, who won the competition twice with Real Madrid, rued the lack of a Manchester United or Chelsea in the final.
‘London is a magical place and Wembley is a magical stadium. We all followed the Olympics and it was so successful and that’s why the Champions League final is back here,’ said the 42-year-old.
‘The final is between two German teams who deserve to be there but it is a pity of course that there is no English team.’
Karembeu, who played in the Premier League for Middlesbrough for one season in 2000-01, has fond memories of his two European Cup triumphs with Real and believes his old friends, Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes and midfielder Franck Ribery, will be lifting the trophy on Saturday night.
‘For me it is Bayern all the way,’ added Karembeu. ‘I know Jupp and Franck so I have to say that. The final will bring back all the memories for me.
‘They were a dream come true. I started playing in 1988 and ten years later lifted the European Cup, which was a big achievement in Madrid. The Champions League is such a great competition for me.’
Christian Karembeu will be playing in the Ultimate Champions Match at the Uefa Champions Festival on Saturday. The Festival runs from May 23-26 in Stratford, for more information visit www.croozefm.com.