Xhaka holds the aggression Arsenal need in midfield!
Arsenal fans can be satisfied with today being the day that the signing of Granit Xhaka has been officially confirmed by the club on Arsenal.com. It is the announcement that fans alike were waiting for and now we can finally turn our attention to his strengths rather than wonder about the terms of the deal.
We have heard it all before about Xhaka’s best qualities and for a reported £30-35million I’d expect nothing less for that kind of money. However one thing that cannot be stressed enough about his qualities, is his passion and aggression to both win the ball and his drive for overall success.
In his first interview with Arsenal, Xhaka outlined how it is a ‘dream’ to play for the Gunners and so we know he will certainly bring commitment to the club and an ambition to win big. But one of the most important qualities we will see out of the Swiss international is the aggression and steel he will bring to the Arsenal midfield. Both qualities have been lacking in an Arsenal side ever since Wenger’s invincible 2004/5 team with Gilberto and Vieira holding that role down perfectly. After many attempts since, all of which have failed, bar arguably Francis Coquelin, Arsenal have finally found a player who is not afraid to get stuck in and have a little nibble at his opponents (not literally like Luis Suarez of course).
Speaking in his interview, Xhaka said: “I don’t think it’s the same [style as the Bundesliga]. In Germany you can play aggressively but the referee will always blow his whistle, but in England that’s not the case. That’s better for me. I like to play football. I’m an aggressive player and also a leader. I’m only 23 but I captained a good team in Germany. It’s in my head that I am a leader and captaining Monchengladbach was very good for me.”
The styles of play are slightly different between the Bundesliga and the Premier League, however I expect Xhaka to fully integrate himself into this Arsenal side straight away, rather than taking his time to adapt. Like I mentioned with Coquelin, he has done a fantastic job at protecting our back line and has often dominated that midfield by getting stuck in with his opponents, however now we have someone else in the team that can show the same qualities and not be left stranded when the Gunners need that type of player most.
I expect good things from Xhaha and so should all Gunners alike. It is not often Arsene Wenger spends big money on a player and so when he does, you expect nothing but the best. Xhaka should have an instant impact with the team and hopefully with the 23 year old in the side and some further additions this summer, we can hope to expect some very good things come the start of the season.