Arsene Wenger says Granit Xhaka can consider his first season in the Premier League to be a success.
The Switzerland international’s performances have been under the microscope since he signed from Borussia Moenchengladbach with many on the terraces and in the media questioning whether he’s lived up to his hefty £35 million price tag.
After a rocky start to life in London that included a spell on the bench, two red cards and the boss being slightly perplexed as to whether he’s a box-to-box midfielder, an enforcer or a deep-lying playmaker, the 24-year-old has settled into his rhythm in the centre of the park.
Citing the improvement Xhaka has made over the course of the campaign and his commitment to training, Wenger played up the Swiss’ contribution.
“He has adapted, and become stronger and stronger throughout the season,” he told Arsenal Player.
“I think today you can say he is a success because he is getting stronger in every single game, and also he has a good, consistent focus. I believe this is a very important quality.
“He turns up every day in training with full commitment. He has a very good focus, every single day – which you can say about all of our midfielders. He never misses a training session and that’s certainly why he has improved throughout the season.
“When we play at home especially, and you are dominating the games, it’s important to have someone who can pass from deep areas through the lines. We looked for someone who could do that and I felt he had those specific qualities to do that.”
Despite a niggly calf problem it is expected that Xhaka will start alongside Aaron Ramsey when the Gunners take on Stoke City. Let’s hope he can continue his good form…