Arsene Wenger has moved to liken new Arsenal signing Granit Xhaka to Emmanuel Petit. The Swiss international joined the club prior to travelling to France to star for his country in the European Championships, and was credited with a Man of the Match performance for his role in the weekend’s 3-1 win over Watford.
Xhaka left Monchengladbach in a £34 Million deal, and Wenger has now revealed that he had already tried to land him seven months earlier.
“We tried already in December last year,” Wenger revealed.
“He has a good engine, good stature, he is good in the air and has a good balance in his game, he has a good short ball and a good long ball.
“He is 24 years old, he has already experience abroad and that is always a problem and is more reassuring when a player has already played abroad somewhere.
“He was captain at his age at Monchengladbach, that is not a small club so he has leadership qualities.
“He is a guy who plays naturally behind the ball, he is a bit similar to (Emmanuel) Petit in the way he plays football. He likes to sit, give good long balls and be available with the centre-backs.”
Xhaka no doubt has some qualities which can be hugely influential, and looks like he could even be given the captain’s armband in the very near future, having already captained former signed Monchengladbach in Germany.
Our club is used to having young players in and around the squad, and his leadership qualities should not be overlooked as we aim to challenge for the Premier League title.
Emmanuel Petit helped us to win a domestic double in his opening season, and we can only hope that his counterpart can lead us to similar successes.
Will Xhaka be able to emulate Petit and help us return to the top of the table? Could he be our next captain?