Xhaka Special Analysis (1) – Will £30m prove to be a bargain?

Is Xhaka what we have waited for for a decade?? by JH

While we wait for Arsenal to actually announce Granit Xhaka’s transfer to the Emirates, the rest of the country is already deciding if he is the right man for us. Arsenal fans seem to think he is, fans of other formerly interested clubs (bitterly) declare otherwise.

Today I will look at what Xhaka is going to bring to Arsenal and assess how good of a deal we may have got. (Because everyone loves knee-jerk reactions before a player has even kicked a ball for us right?)

To start I’ll look at the rumoured price of the deal.
Most outlets agree the price is somewhere between £30 million and £35 million, which is certainly a large amount for a player yet to be tested on our shores, add onto that the rumoured 5-year deal signed at £120k per week and the ends up much closer to £65 million than 35.

The timing or the deal is what has surprised most, 6 days on from our final game of the season, Xhaka was at London Colney in full unreleased Arsenal kit.

Xhaka had a £23 million release clause that activates next year, but we have acted quickly to get him in now for an extra £12 million, most un-Wengerlike. The timing of the deal is of course very beneficial for us, had we waited for the Euros to pass, and say he single-handedly dominated Germany’s midfield, suddenly the price is closer to £45 million with the likes of Bayern suddenly taking notice.

Now I’ve lost count of the amount of years we have been accused of lacking leaders on the pitch, well Xhaka has been brought in to fix that issue, the 23-year-old was named Gladbach captain at just 22, and according to him, he’s the man you’ll have a problem with if you don’t work hard for his team.

It will be interesting to see who adapts for who in this deal, Arsenal as we know prefer to build with short quick passes to start an attack whereas Xhaka is probably best known for pinging 60 yard passes to a forward in space (the Alonso pass as I call it) he is very capable of these short, quick passes we are known for but his natural instinct is to look for space much further forward.

Xhaka is well up for a tackle, and should supposedly end our lack of bite in midfield, you merely have to take a look at his woeful disciplinary record to see this, averaging a yellow every 5 games and a red every 10. Some point to this as a huge weakness in his game, and although it isn’t ideal, it almost adds to his appeal for me, for too long have Arsenal had to just take it when we are kicked around, well now we have someone to kick back. We have lacked leadership and someone to kick back since a certain former captain left us, and I seem to remember his own disciplinary record wasn’t the cleanest.

Arsenal’s famously small and technical midfield will be getting an injection of power and height too, at 6’1 Xhaka is no Santi Cazorla, and he has the strength to hold off the majority of the premier leagues CMs, he is also very effective in the air, whether in open play or set pieces at either end, he should help improve our effectiveness for both.

Something he does have in common with Arsenal’s other CMs is his extreme calmness on the ball despite pressure, happy to demand the ball with players around him, he has supreme confidence in his ability, and he also has the largest dribble success rate in the Bundesliga this season.
This coupled with 2.4 tackles per game, and 2.7 interceptions make him such an effective CM, which also led to his inclusion in the Bundesliga team of the year.

One will also hope that his shooting instinct is not curtailed by AW as Xhaka is capable of scoring some absolute wonder goals, when he hits a ball it certainly stays hit.

At age 23 Xhaka is yet to reach his peak, back in Germany many touted Bayern Munich as his natural next step, but we got there first, comparisons to Schweinsteiger and Alonso are often thrown about when discussing Xhaka, and I must say I have described him as a faster, angrier Xabi Alonso in the past.

With Xhaka’s ceiling being so high, plus the improvement he brings to our midfield, with Height, Power, aggression, leadership and stunning passing range all being added in one player, £35 million seems a fantastic deal, he is already being touted as a potential captain in a couple of years, and he hasn’t even been announced yet.

My review of this deal may seem a bit one sided here, but having studied him intently for the last few weeks, all I have is that he is unproven in the Premiership, and he has poor discipline, which would be a huge problem if we didn’t have adequate cover, but I don’t think there is better cover at DM in this league than Coquelin. He has also made a conscious decision to try and calm his disciplinary issues following his last red card, he said he would have to learn from his mistakes, he was then booked just once in his final 15 games, quite a turnaround I’m sure you will agree.

Now many of us are fed up of Arsene Wenger nowadays, but we all have to say he has done well to sort this so quickly, there is much more work to be done this summer, but boy what a start.

Granit Xhaka has the potential to be a superb addition to our side, fixing numerous issues in one swoop, £35 million nowadays seems like an absolute bargain for a man who may be our main leader on the pitch for many years.

Now all we can do is hope Wenger continues to be efficient in the market and fixes our issues at CB and of course CF. I will also hope that Xhaka doesn’t flop and make a mockery of this article :).

What do you guys think??

Could Xhaka finally be our Vieira replacement??
Are you happy with the price??
Or will he be more Tom Huddlestone than Xabi Alonso??

For more Arsenal opinion please follow @jonnhirons on twitter.

By JonnHirons

Tags Cquelin Xhaka


  1. All we hope is for him to hit the ground running sooner than later or for him to adjust to the league on time.

    I’m excited with his signing as I have seen Him play. At 23, he has lots of Experience and leadership quality. I know he got 5red cards in the just concluded season but I love that fear He instill in his opponents.

    Welcome Xhaka’

  2. “we have acted quickly to get him in now for an extra £12 million, most un-Wengerlike.”

    This is a common belief but it is WRONG.
    Wenger has shown us in his 1st 10 years what he can do if he is given the right type of support then spending a few extra mil to get the player is something that happened in the 1st decade.

    It stopped when Gazidis arrived, blame the guy responsible rather than being a dumb prick who blames the 1st thing he can point at. Dein use to push through deals, Wenger has never been a transfer god, no wonder Arsenal have been slow in the transfers since Gazidis arrived.

    I am happy that we got Xhaka deal done early and I hope Gazidis has learnt from his mistakes in the past, we all know Wenger is not a transfer wizard so lets demand the guy who does transfers to be that wizard we need.

    Wenger doesn’t do everything at Arsenal and people who think he does needs to learn.

      1. With all due respect, I insulted ignorance and not a person.

        Opinions are open to insult as they can be harmful, they are not factual, if it was then it wouldn’t be a narrow opinion but a fact.

    1. Needless insult, it was supposed to be a joking throwaway remark, in terms of knowing facts, if u knew anything of me you would know I support aw more than most on here, if you cant share your opinion civilly nobody wants to hear it

    2. @Midkemma

      If you think Wenger doesn’t have a say in almost everything at Arsenal, then you’ve been burying your head in sand for far too long! Wenger has a huge say in who comes, and especially with who goes out!

      For example – I doubt Wenger was directly involved with negotiating with Walcott’s agent about that ridiculous contract extension, but he definitely would have had communication with the whoever was. Wenger 100% would have known that Walcott was digging his heals in for 140K a week. Almost every Arsenal fan knew at that point, that selling Walcott, was a no-brainer. The ONLY reason Walcott is still an Arsenal player, is because Wenger would have given that deal a green light. I agree, that things were better with Dein, and Gazidis is useless, but to more or less say that Wenger isn’t really responsible, is preposterous!

      As we already know, the club follows whatever Wenger’s plan is. That is huge indication of the kind of power he wields at the club.

      1. “If you think Wenger doesn’t have a say in almost everything at Arsenal, then you’ve been burying your head in sand for far too long!”

        He has a say but that say isn’t the same as the owners say or his yes-mans say, I do not disagree that Wenger is in the loop about what is happening, I disagree that his say is the final word.

        People who think his say is the final word have their heads in the sand, go have a look at his EVERY other sports team, he is silent in all of those yet they have suffered for profit…

        Wenger has a huge say in who comes and who leaves???


        How much of a HUGE say did he have in those transfers?
        If they are in question then how can we not question the other transfers?

        I have never said Wenger hasn’t got strong influence in wages, I belive he does have a strong say in WAGES but when are WAGES the same thing as TRANSFERS?

        The club does what Silent Stan wants and Wenger is just damn good at giving Silent Stan what he wants, you want titles… Silent Stan wants profit.

        Wenger has to please SILENT STAN and NOT YOU to keep his job.

        Can you not see the obvious?

  3. As I’ve said before, I’m very excited with this signing, but it’s massive deal for Arsenal from a financial perspective, the priority HAS to be a quality striker, and Wenger doesn’t spend big twice in the same window.

    Unless Wenger throws us a complete curve ball this summer, it looks likely that either no striker will be signed or an average forward (as backup for Giroud) or an inexperienced youngster with potential (potential being my most hated word as an Arsenal fan).

    Putting the main issues aside though, I am looking forward to seeing Xhaka play as I’ve never seen him before. I’ve heard very positive things, and given his age, he could feature at Arsenal for a long time. I just pray he doesn’t fall foul of the Arsenal injury curse!

  4. this guy is not only dominating on the field but he is also skillful and can see a pass.. But the most important thing for me is that he actually is a captain material which we desperately need.. that thing alone is worth the 30m..

    1. Well said pal. We need a leader and I like this “he’s the man you’ll have a problem with if you don’t work hard for his team”. That’s winning mentality.

  5. Please my dear friends allow Arsenal FC to announce the signing of Xhaka before all these analysis………just to keep your emotions in check

  6. A player like Xhaka suddenly makes players like Walcott much more effective because of their long range passing which starts a counter attack much more effectively than trying to carry the ball forward or resorting to short and less risky passes that we are accustomed to which will usually give opponents ample time to regroup. With the threat of lightning speed down both flanks especially and a long pass specialist in the middle of the park, opposing full backs will be kept occupied and venture forward less often because they know can and will be easily caught out of position.

    1. @JAmerican
      He always was a diver.Dude has it down to an art…The Turkish keeper freaked Kane out because he knew which way Kane was going. Kane buckled under pressure.

  7. Watching Wack Wilshire in the England game has reminded me why Xhaka is so important to the gunners

    1. @RVpayslip
      As long as Jacks game consists of looking to draw the foul, he will always be on the injured table…But many feel he shouldn’t adjust his style of play, even he thinks so.

      1. I agree. IMHO Problem is that he does it with no authority whatsoever. They see him coming and they just take him down.

        Dude has no presence at all. His reputation is all one Barca game a long time ago.

  8. Xhaka for 30m? its not about just signing… but signing moderately. Isn’t this over d board????
    We need his kind if player though… with Carzola, Ozil, Sanchez and A good Striker… I think me may see d better days… (Key word being “May”).
    Welcome Xhaka, Welcome to d Arsenal!!!!!

  9. To be true next season is going to be no kids play. With Pep in, Klopp, and the heavily remoured Mhou to Manchester move it’s likely to be a battle of wits and the quality you have on your plate. Wenger is aware of that and the threat this poses to his consistance to return top four. The recent fans stand off is also still fresh in his mind in case he fails them once more, Hence the quick and timely move to strengthen. He is clever you know!

  10. Xhaka is quite a great signing, but I don’t know why Arsenal couldn’t get him earlier on. He’s been showing these potentials right from Basel. But I don’t wanna sound like an economist but I feel we could have got two players with the amount spent on Xhaka…like Wijnaldum, Moussa Sissoko due to their experience forget Newcastle relegated, they’re individually amazing they just need to play around a formidable team……Wijnaldum was player of the year in Dutch league last year remember?

    1. Xerdhan Shaquiri moved too fast, now he’s at Stoke. I read up on the guy, he said he wanted to iron out the inconsistencies in his game before moving to one of the elites hence why he opted for Mochengladbach in the first place and he actually kinda flopped in his first season but was able to turn that around.

  11. Great signing, but given the impecunious nature of Kroenke, where Arsenal is concerned, I’m a little worried that we won’t have enough money for a central defender and striker, which are more vital signings at the moment.

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