It may not seem like the fast-paced transfer window that the majority of Arsenal fans would have wanted, but Arsene Wenger has already landed three signings.
We’ll be waiting patiently for more players to get snapped in an Arsenal jersey, but for now let’s assess who we’ve already bagged this summer. Let us know your thoughts by commenting at the bottom!
1 – Granit Xhaka
- Age: 23
- Nationality: Swiss
- Career Club Appearances: 201
- Transfer Fee: £34.5m
If you didn’t know who Xhaka was when we handed over £35m in mid-May, then hopefully you were watching the Euro’s because we’ve got ourselves a talent here.
Despite the hefty price tag for a 23-year-old, Xhaka proved he can handle the pressure of carrying a team whilst representing Switzerland all the way to the knockout stages.
Forgetting the need for a striker this summer, the midfielder could well be the most important signing we make to ensure the campaign goes the right way.
Not only does he provide us with options in the central defensive area, Xhaka brings competition to this side, with three players now battling for the same position.
Each of Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny will have one eye on the new man who is poised to slot into the starting XI from day one providing pre-season is a success.
So what makes him different to anyone else? Well, partnering his desire to win the ball back is a calmness to play football out from the area, a necessity under Arsene Wenger.
As I say, he’s never afraid to put a challenge in wherever he is on the pitch, but unlike Coquelin who often panics to make a pass, Xhaka has composure to think two passes ahead.
He’s unselfish too and that will benefit the likes of Ramsey and Wilshere who will now have freedom to roam into attacking areas knowing the brick wall of Xhaka is sitting behind.
I think something that hasn’t been mentioned is his ability to deal well under pressure especially at set pieces, which as well all know is Arsenal’s biggest downfall as long as we’re using zonal marking.
However, try to forget about his eye-opening passing stats in the Euro’s, because he now needs to become a player that can turn defence into attack.
At both Switzerland and Borussia Monchengladbach, Xhaka is used to playing with a familiar style of player next to him, and instead of passing sideways, it’s the forward play that gets success.
He’ll need to adapt to English football very quickly because in that position you’re given no time, but I have very high hopes for this man and the strength of our midfield.