Mertesacker excited by Granit’s Tiki-Xhaka

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Per Mertesacker says he’s looking forward to helping Granit Xhaka bed in at Arsenal and believes the summer signing will play an important role keeping the Gunners fluid in midfield.

Xhaka, who signed for the Gunners at the end of May from Borussia Moenchengladbach, will take part in his first pre-season training session next week as Arsene Wenger gears up his squad for their opening game against Liverpool on 14 August.

Looking ahead to Xhaka’s arrival at London Colney, Mertesacker told Arsenal Player: “I don’t know him personally but that doesn’t matter, we will get along with each other very quickly because he is a good player and has done so much for Borussia Monchengladbach.

“He can speak German as well, so it will be joy to get his first year going and help him bed in as a player.

“He’s a leader and that is really important, especially in midfield. He has got a very good attitude, is very composed on the ball and contributes a lot.

“He is a good passer as well, so he will set the tempo. I am looking forward to how he does it, how composed he will be in training and in the games. He will be the perfect signing for us.”

Mertesacker’s optimism about the new boy’s qualities is echoed by Francis Coquelin. While Xhaka will likely be competing with the Frenchman for a starting berth, the 25-year-old stressed that squad competition is welcome.

“It’s Arsenal Football Club, we know we’re going to sign quality players,” he told Arsenal Player. 

“I saw him in the Euros and he’s a good passer of the ball, he’s strong and good in the air so I think he’s going to add quality and strength to the squad and that’s a good thing.”

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zizou

It is about Granit Per Xhaka

Me So Hornsey

Our transfer season started of fantastically. Great early signing to set the tone. We need to continue to fill the other holes in our squad. We really aren’t that far away.

It would be a shame to Xhak it all away.

Sorry.

Not sorry.

broken red army

yeah we already renewd our season tickets 🙂

Swish

And so begins the MerteXhaka bromance.

Super Joshi

Fucking brilliant. As a German speaker he’s at an advantage too I’d say.

Tasmanian Jesus

I’d have us look at another one of Per’s good mates, Benedikt Höwedes. Very good center half.

A Gorilla

On the topic of leaders – who should we give the captain’s armband to this year? Petr Cech for me.

Little Mozart

I think it’s Per now.

Lord Bendtner

I’m Xhankful to see all the players showing their Granitude to him

Thierry Walcott

I cannot thumb that down, no.

Newxieland

Looking forward to better defensive cover to the back four. But which midfield combo to use?

Cliff Bastin

Xhaka, Ozil and Ramsey had excellent Euros this is my take on how to fit them together.

3-4-2-1

Alexis
Ozil Ramsey
Gibbs (wingback) xhaka cazorla bellerin (wingback)
Monreal koscielny gabriel
Cech

Yes I know that is ALL THE DEFENDERS

Why not

That is a great lineup on Fifa 2016. Reality, probably not so much.

Cliff Bastin

Yes yes the point is if we play all the form players in our current system then someone’s gonna be out of position.

Mark

Looking forward to seeing him play for us. Just hope that isn’t the extent of the transfer activity (aside from cheap young players).

Ebo

He shouldn’t take his Tiki-Xhaka for Granit, it could all go Per-shaped.

wash_dc_gunner

Thank you for that, I needed it!

Brendan Rodgers' self-portrait

It’s nice to see some Coq praise isn’t it?

Nathan

Per MerteXhaker!

Stig

In no doubt that Xhaka is the right type of holding midfielder for us. People are crying out for Kante and such, but Xhaka is better in any term we desperatly need:
Leadership
Hard tackles
Spraying Long balls
Setting tempo and recycling balls
Positioning

Kante might have a superior engine and strength,but couple Xhaka with Ramsey and / or Coq, Caz, Elneny, Wilshere and you can line up a perfect midfield for any opposition

Jack Lewis

At first glance I thought the first line said metesacker… “Would help Xhaka IN bed!?!”

Parisian Weetabix

Particularly with the line below that being about “keeping the Gunner(‘)s fluid”. Not to mention all these Coq references…

Jack Lewis

I really worry about what goes on at Colney! No STI’s yet though!

Naija Gunner

???

santori

As we’ve seen with Coquelin returning to pair up (unsucessfully) with Ramsey, understanding/effectiveness is a difficult thing to achieve. Coquelin paired up best with Santi. There was the right mix of steel and maturity plus technical holding ability and long range passes which we missed when the Spaniard was out. Granit may not have the quick feet/mobility of Santi (where Jack may provide that) but he has secure positioning and the long range of passing which may release our transition to the counter earlier and afford the likes of a Ramsey to play further forward or for the matter Jack… Read more »

afcchamp88

No matter who starts, I would be interested in seeing Xhakuelin close out matches.

vnet

Go Xhaka Coq.

Fin

Xhaka and santi to start the season for me. Tough on coq (heh) but I really think they both could be a perfect pairing. passing ranges of both is immaculate and Xhaka really has that look of a ‘if you try it I’ll fuck you up beyond measure’ look about him. Best thing is how much depth we have now. Wilshere should be able to be eased in nicely.

Goonerus Maximus

HARD on coq?! Holy missed opportunity batman!