‘Aggressive leader’ Xhaka vows to bring mean streak to Arsenal

Date published: Wednesday 25th May 2016 3:27

Granit Xhaka: Brings tigerish qualities to Arsenal midfield

Granit Xhaka: Brings tigerish qualities to Arsenal midfield

Arsenal’s new signing Granit Xhaka believes he can bring an often-lacking ‘mean streak’ to Arsene Wenger’s side next season.

The Gunners announced on Wednesday they had agreed a deal to sign the Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder on a “long-term contract”.

Xhaka, who has 41 caps for Switzerland, captained the German side to fourth place in the Bundesliga last season and says leadership comes naturally to him.

“I’m an aggressive player and also a leader. I’m only 23 but I captained a good team in Germany,” Xhaka said.

“When I was younger, even though I had a big brother, my parents would give me the house key every day.

“It’s in my head that I am a leader and captaining Monchengladbach was very good for me.”

Granit Xhaka: Will join Arsenal after Euro 2016

Xhaka has experience playing in the Champions League for Gladbach and is renowned for his fitness and tough tackles.

“I like the style of football in the Premier League,” Xhaka said, whose signing for the club has also excited the Gunners faithful.

“It’s a fight. I like that but Arsenal can also play football and that’s very good.

“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.”

The transfer is still to be officially completed but Arsenal have confirmed Xhaka’s contract will begin on July 1.

The former Basle man will become the Gunners’ first major signing of the summer as Arsene Wenger looks to build a squad capable of challenging for the title next season.

“Granit Xhaka is an exciting young player, already with good Champions League and Bundesliga experience,” Wenger said.

“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.”

Arsenal were eager to agree the deal before Xhaka joined up with the Switzerland squad for Euro 2016, where he will be up against France, Albania and Romania in Group A.

He also has experience of winning trophies, having collected two Swiss league titles and the Swiss Cup in 2012 when Basle completed the double.

Xhaka was named the league’s young player of the year that season and was rewarded with a move to Gladbach in 2012.

After sealing his move, Xhaka said he was looking forward to joining “one of the biggest clubs in the world”.

“Now it’s official,” Xhaka wrote on Instagram. “From next season on I will play for @Arsenal. I want to thank everyone at @borussia.

“Together we brought the club back to where it belongs, to the Champions League. I will always look back with pleasure to that time. But from now on I’m totally focused on playing at one of the biggest clubs in the world.”

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