Granit Xhaka makes his position clear at Arsenal!

When Granit Xhaka signed for the Gunners early on in the 2016 summer transfer window, Arsenal fans loved being able to watch their new powerhouse drive in midfield for the Swiss National Team at Euro 2016. We saw what kind of player we were getting and despite already having a jam packed midfield full of talent, Xhaka offered something different from the rest.

The addition of Xhaka at Arsenal meant that our midfield talent added another player to its ranks and it made competition for places even tougher in that central midfield spot. Previously occupied by the likes of Wilshere, Cazorla, Ramsey, Coquelin and Elneny, Arsene Wenger now had to find somewhere for Xhaka to also fit into such a team, especially after signing him for a high-profile £30 million.

Going into pre-season there was of course plenty of discussion about whether Xhaka would be a regular starter for Arsenal, or if not, more of an effective substitute. Being primarily a defence minded midfielder, it means that Xhaka’s impact off the bench is limited more than that of an attack minded midfielder, because whilst he is likely to protect the back line, Xhaka isn’t going to necessarily turn a game around.
Coming into this Arsenal side however, he was keen to point out that he did not come to Arsenal to be just another squad player, instead he insists on becoming a first team regular and a key member of the starting eleven.

Xhaka said: “I have not come to Arsenal to sit on the bench or even in the grandstand. But I’m not 30, I’ll be 24 at the end of September. I’ve moved to a club and a coach that can develop me. I think at Arsenal I can improve my speed and power. Because I realize now that I’m not at a hundred per cent of what is possible there. [Understanding] this too is an advancement.”

Despite having a fairly shakey competitive debut against Liverpool, in which he made the most fouls of any player and consequently picked up a yellow card, Xhaka has been a star of the show in both the Leicester and Watford games, the latter especially. In the Watford game Xhaka showed quality both in defence and attack. He showed that he can break opposition play up and win the ball back convincingly, whilst also having the attacking quality to ping passes across the pitch.

I have been very much impressed with Xhaka so far and although Wenger doesn’t make many risks when it comes to big money, it shows that Le Prof knew exactly what he was getting for the team when he signed Granit Xhaka. With the right quality and consistency, Xhaka could go on to become one of our key players this season.



  1. Big G says:

    Xhaka was much needed player for the club in that defence midfield role and should be starting most games along side Coq especially against the top teams. Once we see how Mustafi settles then perhaps we can relax a little and change our options around.

  2. NY_Gunner says:

    Granit” Da Hawk” Xhaka, is the deep lying playmaker Jack was supposed to be, but never will be…FACTS

    1. Wilshegz says:

      actually, Cazorla is taking the deeplying playmaking role Wilshere is supposed to be and ll still be. Xhaka is a different kinda player, more like a XabiAlonso-type where Wilshere/Cazorla are a Gerrard-type (without the outside shots)

      1. dragunov762mm says:

        Didn’t you take notices from that Watford match? Xhaka was not an ordinary CDM, he also has ability to be deep lying play maker. Xhaka – Santi pairing at once mean we have two deep lying play maker at once. Santi can move more aggressive at attacking mode when Xhaka guard the deeper position.

        1. NY_Gunner says:

          Thank you…

        2. rkw says:

          wtf is a deep lying play maker … santi and wilshere should be in the xavi role that links midfield to attack with ocassional forays themselves… both need to improve their shooting … wenger has always confused this role with b2b because of his desperate desire to include ramsey in starting 11 … hasnt worked …xhaka is an alonso type player DM with excellent long range passing ability …playing coq or elneny next to him makes the team too defensive and limits ozils contribution though can be used for some games

      2. Wilshegz says:

        if u read my comment well u ll notice we saying the same thing.. which is why I tagged Xhaka the Alonso-type DM and not a Makelele-type
        Xhaka and Cazorla are two deeplying playmakers with Xhaka the more reserved n defensive of the duo.
        Wilshere is not like Xhaka as he isn’t up there defensively, he is more Cazorla.

  3. Arsenal_Girl says:

    Our starting back Central midfielders should be Xhaka and Cazorla
    Coming of the bench: Coquelin, Ramsey and Eleney

    1. mohawk says:

      I think Wenger is just starting to figure out what you and many of us already knew. (He really tried to make the Xhaka/Coq pairing work but it failed every time)

      But Wenger will not likely simply accept that Ramsey is no longer a starter. He will find a place on the pitch for him – at least he will try. My guess is Wenger will use the RW slot for Ramsey and thus sacrifice one of the wings.

      1. josh37 says:

        I think he’s tried Xhaka-Coq what? Twice/three times now?
        Kept a clean-sheet against Leicester and were lacking a lot of our first-team options in attack, including Mesut who’s an undoubted starter and glues our midfield and front three like no other…

    2. dragunov762mm says:

      I remember many of you didn’t feel necessary to buy another CDM? You were one of them, was it AG? Correct me if I was wrong.
      Anyway, I agreed on your opinion. Having Xhaka, Cazorla, and Ozil played at once will give us various angle of attack. It’s like one team with three brains. Can’t wait to see what Lucas Perez is all about compare to Olivier Giroud.

      1. josh37 says:

        I can’t wait to see if we’re going to see Olli-G in full beast mode with some competition for his place…

  4. pubgooner says:

    He only ticks when Santi starts the game. So for AFC the most vital and valuable midfielder is still Santi!

    1. Break-on-through says:

      I’m amazed Barcelona never gave everything to try and sign Santi. If ever I seen a player that looked Barca dna it’s Santi, the man is just so gifted. He’s the CM version of a Messi. And to make fools of people in a league like ours, you need to be both tough and brilliant. Because if your not careful, some of these dudes will end your career. Just ask Aaron Diaby and Eduardo.

  5. pubgooner says:

    @arsenal_girl are you really a gal?
    As you have such valid and sensible comments, like a guy who has played football for years on!
    Hard to believe…

    1. NY_Gunner says:

      WoW!!! Another one throwin the misogyny card around. As if men are the only footballer players/supporters in the world…
      What makes it so hard to simply respect her as well as her footballing knowledge?

      1. Krish says:

        Nice 🙂 (Y)

    2. Fatboy Gooney says:

      With the amount of time Gooner Lad… oops! .. I mean Arsenal Girl spends on here, He.. (Cough) .. She .. must be one lazy @@@@ with the house chores! ?

      I’m 99% sure that’s a bloke…. wanna be LadyBoy! ?

  6. Break-on-through says:

    Now that Wenger has likened Xhaka to Petit ..I can see it. They move in a similar way, Petit was one of the few that didn’t look like an all star athlete, more like an old fashioned wrestler. The passing is what Arsene noticed I reckon, Petit was good with those balls over the top. I wonder if this means Wenger is finally trying to recreate his old formula. If he finds a Vieira like player then I say give him a 20 year contract, lol, on a serious note though, he did like Sissoko, wonder if that’s what he was thinking. Vireira was great at running the length of the pitch, but he was streets ahead of Sissoko at everything else. Some are likening Holding to Adams, Kos is a little like Keown. Bellerin is slightly similar to Lauren. People are hoping Perez is the new Wrighty. And finally Wenger needs to be the old Wenger.

    1. Midkemma says:

      I think Wenger would like Ramsey to replicate his form a few years ago now, he had a good period alongside Arteta before Artetas legs wasn’t good enough to cover Ramseys charging forward.

      If it works then I bet we will read about how good Ramsey is and how he is the best in his position blah blah blah…

      If it doesn’t then we will be reading about how his favoritism has cost us.

      Xhaka can put in a challenge, he is a leader and also intelligent with his passing, he could make Ramsey look amazing…

  7. Wilshegz says:

    the more I look at it, the more it seems like Wenger actually wanted to lose the first game against Liverpool. cnt figure out a reason to bench both Cazorla and Xhaka even with Ozil given extended break

    1. PRINCE AFZ says:

      They were not fully fit.

  8. cesceru says:

    I watched the first half of our last game was then i realized that Xhaka will b a secret weapon this season….those passes will cause big teams that are charging at us this season. with Perez nd Alexis pace…problem

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