Granit Xhaka has joined Arsenal from Borussia Monchengladbach for a fee of £30m with possible add-ons in the future up to £35m.
- Born and raised in Basel, Switzerland, to Kosovo Albanian parents
- His brother (25) plays for Albania
- He has signed a 5-year-contract worth a reported £110,000 a week
- “I was almost speechless when he called”, referring to Wenger’s first call to him.
- Arsenal scouts have watched him play 30 times before signing him.
- Xhaka made the Bundesliga Team of the Year last season, alongside Bayern stars Vidal, Muller and Lewandowski.
- He captained Gladbach last year despite his age, and led them to fourth in the Bundesliga and played in the Champions League (although finished 4th behind Man City, Juventus and Sevilla in a tough group).
- Granit also captained Switzerland at u17 and u21 age groups, winning the u17 World Cup and taking them to the u21 Euros final.
- He has an aggressive side. Sent off 8 times in his career to date, he averages a booking every four games.
- Nicknamed “the little Einstein”, he is not prolific with goals or assists, but similarly to Cazorla, helps break up the play and lays the foundations for attacks.
- In his first interview with Arsenal he’s already speaking English, despite having never played in an English-speaking country. He can speak four languages, which could come in useful on the pitch.
- All of the above show he is a leader. Aggressive, passionate, multi-linguist, communicator, winner.
- In January he joked that he would take take Coquelin’s number 34 shirt if Arsenal signed him.
- Xhaka won Gladbach’s goal of the year award in two of his three seasons there.
- Ottmar Hitzfeld, former Switzerland boss and two-times Champions League winner, compared Xhaka to a “young Schweinsteiger”.
- You can watch him in action for Switzerland at Euro 2016 this summer.
After joining, Xhaka told the clubs official website: “I’m very proud to be joining Arsenal. I cannot wait to move to London, represent this special club and play in the Premier League. I will give everything to help Arsenal win trophies and make the fans happy.”