Granit Xhaka is all set to sign for Arsenal in next few days after the Swiss International was caught posing in an Arsenal shirt yesterday evening. According to BBC, a £25million deal is agreed for the combative midfielder and the announcement will be made in next 48-72 hours.
Understandably, Gunners supporters are delirious with the news as they have longed for a strong presence in their midfield for ages now. Xhaka’s key strengths are his passing abilities, vital interceptions and his aerial efficiency.
One key challenge for the 23-year old however will be to adjust to Premier League’s high energy demands. English Football is currently blessed with some outstanding central/holding midfield players which Xhaka will need to either emulate or surpass if he has to be a success for Arsenal.
Speaking of which, we decided to compare Xhaka’s performance in Bundesliga for 2015/16 season to that of Premier League’s midfield players from last season. Like of N’golo Kante, Danny Drinkwater and Eric Dier made a huge impression and they will be the ones Xhaka will be competing against next season
Looking at these stats, Xhaka’s numbers are on par or better than the likes of Kante, Drinkwater, Dier and Fernandinho. Before his proposed signing, Arsenal were linked with a move for N’golo Kante, however, it seemed that Wenger needed more of a passer than a tackler.
That is why we saw Xhaka arriving at Emirates after averaging more than 70 passes per game for Monchengladbach in the recently concluded Bundesliga season. His tackling and interceptions are only behind Kante which suggests Arsenal have signed a player with promise, who could be Wenger’s key man next season.
How will Arsenal use Xhaka?
One expects similar tactics from the Gunners with a fluid 4-2-3-1 in play where Xhaka will be assured starter. On current form, Mohamed Elneny should start behind the attacking trifecta of Alexis, Ozil and Welbeck.
At present, Olivier Giroud seems to be the only viable striking option which could change over the next few weeks after Arsenal are heavily linked with Spanish attacker Alvaro Morata. If the reported £40million deal does go through, Arsenal will be one the strongest teams in what promises to be the most enthralling Premier League season ever.
Image Credit: Getty, Stats Credit: Squawka