A Long Term Solution? Will This Rising 23-year Old Star Be The Perfect Fit For Arsenal?

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It was all under Lucien Favre that Borussia Monchengladbach’s fairy tale started but the fairy tale not only saw the rising of the team, it also saw the rise of a man. A young Swiss who was brought to Germany for €8.5 million from the Swiss side Basel, the player had to prove himself and he did that in an impressive fashion!

Who are we talking about? Granit Xhaka of course, the Swiss sensation who’s emerged as the hottest youth prospects in Bundesliga and one of the top youth players to be linked with the best of clubs across the world. Many clubs have emerged as favourites to land in Xhaka. There’s Manchester City from England, Barcelona and Madrid from Spain, Bayern Munchen themselves from Germany but so far one top English club has emerged as the straight favourites to land in the man and who should it be? It is Arsenal of Arsene Wenger. Close reports have arrived across the world that Arsenal are very much interested to snap him up but before we proceed to look at how Granit Xhaka will be the perfect man for Arsenal, let’s analyze Xhaka first, statistically as well as visually.

*Looking at Xhaka and all his plays, only one thing strikes my mind at first. He is a complete midfielder. Xhaka just bosses the midfield and goes all over that entire region. He’s at the centre, defending every foray of the opposition and when the ball switches sides, Xhaka doesn’t even hesitate a bit to make runs, carry the ball at his feet and play those crucial passes. Xhaka has emerged as a brilliant young midfielder but he’s impressed largely for me as a central defensive midfielder. He has a solid body, tough legs and of course his mind is a top reader of the game. Xhaka doesn’t retaliate to make challenges and put in legs to get the ball and once he’s done that, he immediately looks up to pass it and ensure that the flow of play isn’t disrupted. So many times Xhaka has set up counter attacks for his side and in the end it all looks sublime and perfectly executed.

*Statistically speaking, counting from 2014, Xhaka has made 51 appearances for Borussia Monchengladbach and he has scored only 5 goals. The amount of goals he’s scored shows very little as to how much influential he can be on the pitch. Xhaka has created 32 chances for the club. He boasts an average passing accuracy of over 86% and he has won 49% of the duels. That is just a whopping statistical figure for any central midfielder because 49% is bloody impressive. Xhaka has an average passing length of about 20 metres approximately and this is a great average length for a midfielder because it does prove that he can slot crucial balls through the ground as well as play lofty ones to meet the forwards. To sum it up in simple words, Xhaka is a complete midfielder who will carry out his job perfectly if needed for the team. (Stats taken from Squawka.com)

How will Xhaka suit Arsenal:

Arsenal bought Mohamed Elneny in the winter transfer window and talking to Arsenal fans across the globe I asked them only one thing in the beginning. “Do Arsenal need another midfielder?” I got all sorts of replies but only one thing really caught my eye because it was put brilliantly and it was this “With a 31 year old santi, an indifferent at times Ramsey, a Wilshere that breaks down when it rains and Arteta, rosicky, flamini all going, I’d say yes.”

Santi Cazorla’s form hasn’t been impressive at all for previous two seasons and the only midfielder who steps up his game at Arsenal besides Mesut Ozil is Aaron Ramsey. Francis Coquelin does his bit but to a large extent he isn’t the ‘ go to man’ at the centre when it comes to creating chances or have an attacking impact on the play and Elneny still has to build up his experience and change his game in relevance to the English soil and here is when Xhaka becomes really vital.

Xhaka would enliven this midfield and he’d come as an engine to carry out this midfield. Behind Mesut Ozil and the likes of Theo Walcott or Alexis Sanchez on the wings as well as Giroud up front, Xhaka has several choices to make and it’s exactly the type of role he’d like because his choice of passing covers everything from long balls to short ones and  through balls to calculative ones. Xhaka will carry out the defensive duties as well and if Arsenal do play a double pivot then his role as a defensive midfielder will be reduced because Elneny or Coquelin can carry out the defensive duties and it will give Xhaka the liberty to roam around the midfield and pick his passes to perfection.

Ever since Patrick Viera left, Arsenal have lacked a defensive midfielder for a long long time and getting in a player like Xhaka is extremely important because the inability to get in players needed at crucial positions has caused Arsene Wenger his premier league trophy majority of times. If Arsenal realize that Xhaka is gettable then they should try everything to get him because I am pretty sure Xhaka’s the answer for Arsenal’s midfield problems.

Syed Shaiban

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