Arsenal has completed the third biggest transfer in their history as Granit Xhaka has joined from Borussia Monchengladbach for a fee believed to be around $45 million.
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Xhaka, 23, is a Swiss international midfielder and Arsene Wenger has been tracking the powerful box-to-box player for many years.
He will officially be an Arsenal player from July 1 and has signed a long-term deal at the club.
[ MORE: PL money table 2015-16 ]
Speaking to the club website, Xhaka is delighted to have arrived at the Emirates Stadium and explained to Arsenal’s fans a little of what he’s about.
“I am very happy to be here. For me it is a dream come true,” Xhaka said. “I am a player who likes to play football and I am an aggressive player, maybe a leader. I’m only 23 but I was in Germany and captain of a good team.”
Wenger also revealed the extend of Arsenal’s scouting of the former Basel midfielder.
“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.”
Xhaka will slot straight into Arsenal’s central midfield area which now has considerable competition.
With Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny due to be his main competitor for playing time, the fact that Arsenal has shelled out nearly $50 million to land Xhaka tells you that he will likely be a starter. Then, the likes of Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla will all have to fight to get a spot alongside him in central midfield.
After Arsenal finished second in the 2015-16 PL table, something which disappointing fans with Leicester City winning the title by 10 points, Wenger has started his business early and has sealed the deal for Xhaka before he heads to the 2016 European Championships in France as a key member of Switzerland’s team.
Gunners fans will be licking their lips as Wenger has been backed in the transfer market and has added power and substance to central midfield. That’s something they’ve been crying out for now for many years.
Is Xhaka the missing piece in the jigsaw as Arsenal search for their first PL trophy in 13 years? Perhaps another striker and center back will persuade many that they will be the favorites to win the PL in 2016-17 but Xhaka’s arrival is a huge sign of their intent to kick on next season.