Arsenal transfers: Gunners grab Swiss star Granit Xhaka for reported £30m
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | May 25, 2016
Arsenal, Coral’s 9/2 second-favourites to win the 2016/17 Premier League, have signed Borussia Monchengladbach and Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka for a reported fee of £30m.
The 23-year-old has signed a long-term contract with the Gunners, and is set to be the third Swiss player to represent the north London club after defensive duo Johan Djourou and Philippe Senderos.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) May 25, 2016
Arsene Wenger said: “Granit Xhaka is an exciting young player, already with good Champions League and Bundesliga experience.
“We have been watching him for a long time now and he is a player who will add quality to our squad. We wish Granit a good Euro 2016 with Switzerland and look forward to welcoming him to Arsenal ahead of next season.”
Born to Kosovan parents in Basel, Xhaka has already played over 200 senior club games for his hometown team and Bundesliga outfit Monchengladbach.
Swiss to solve engine room conundrum
Entering Euro 2016 with more than 40 caps for Switzerland, Xhaka is thus hugely experienced for a player of his age.
Wenger is understood to have moved for Xhaka, whose brother Taulant represents Albania, because Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky are leaving the Emirates, with Mathieu Flamini potentially joining them.
Central midfield has long been touted as an area of weakness within the Arsenal squad, because of the injury-prone nature of departing duo Arteta (linked with joining Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff at Manchester City) and Rosicky, plus Jack Wilshere, who also has a poor fitness record.
Xhaka can make a difference
Granit Xhaka to Arsenal is a done deal based on these: pic.twitter.com/ksYeHKHoFG
— Coral (@Coral) May 21, 2016
The Gunners have signed an engine room operator at a rate of one transfer per year since 2011. Beginning with Arteta, they added Santi Cazorla in 2012, then Flamini returned to north London and the disastrous loan move for Sweden’s Kim Kallstrom followed.
Polish youngster Krystian Bielik, instead of highly-rated compatriot Grzegorz Krychowiak, joined in 2015, but is yet to play a Premier League game for Arsenal; while in January, Egypt midfielder Mohamed Elneny joined the club.
Wenger and Gunners fans alike will hope Xhaka can address the problems in the middle of the park. He will compete with Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Aaron Ramsey and Wilshere for a spot in the XI.
Visit Coral’s Premier League page for all the major transfer news throughout this summer.