Granit Xhaka (29)


It’s hard to not be disappointed when you’ve invested close to £40m in a central midfielder who didn’t look out of place a non league side.

He’s obviously more talented than his performances suggest but it’s certainly a question of whether playing in England is the right league for him.


I always like to give a player the benefit of the doubt of a full season. Some players will always hit the ground running and others will take months to adapt.

You want a big return on a big investment but still a lot of faith in Xhaka from me. Most of the Wengerboys have had upwards of 5 years of loyalty from Wenger, but you can’t go too far the other way and destroy a guy in his first campaign. I would expect the next manager to involve him centrally in his plans.


I would have preferred Kante but I still think Xhaka will be a decent player.


It’s been a steep learning curve for him but I think he will look totally different under a different manager and organised system.

He’s made the transition to a team with a lot of issues, I would have liked to have seen him play more in a three man midfield to help him acclimatise. Why not stick Ozil, him and Elneny in a three and play on the counter?


Granit will come good. Guy is a baller and our best midfielder


I agree to a point. He cost ALOT of money and for that much I think people, myself included, were expecting a player who wasn’t so severely limited in his skill set.

It’s become clear that the squad was not put together well and Arsene either didn’t know or didn’t want to know what Granit’s weaknesses were.

Hopefully next year, under a new manager, he’ll be able to refocus and play in a system built around him. I think he’s far from a bust but there are some worrying signs especially if Arsene continues as manager.


That’s such a short post to disagree with so much. :grinning:

He’s nowhere near being our best midfielder. Wenger made the wrong decision in buying him, but having made the mistake has been entirely correct not to start him regularly. He’s erratic on and off the ball, loses his head far too easily and though he has talent, he doesn’t have the discipline to make the most of it. I’m surprised that some think that a more “organised” manager will suit him better, I would expect a manager that expects even more positional and tempremental discipline to tire of him quickly.


solid assessment Lep. Fully agree.


So who’s the best midfielder then? I know the answer will be Cazorla but there’s pretty much no guarantee that he’ll play for us again, so who’s next on the list?


We’re lucky to have Granit in our squad. There aren’t many midfielders like him.

Guardiola would like to pay many money to have a player like him and replace Yaya Toure.

I don’t know if another manager or still Arsène will manage him, but into a classic spanish pivote role, he will be one of the best players in the league and Europe.


“Who’s the best midfielder then? I know there’s this guy who’s obviously better than Xhaka but you can’t have him because that would be immediately demonstrating that Xhaka’s not the best” :wink:

Seriously though, That would clearly be Mesut Ozil, he’s been through bad runs of form in the past and his current dip is temporary, and his class is most certainly permanent.

However, without saying that they are individually more talented players, I would certainly still start any of Ramsey, Oxnard-Chamberlain or Elneny over Xhaka. He is a liability to a team, and though those three make mistakes, they’re not born of an inability to maintain a professional temprement. It’s not fashionable to like those three but they are professionals, and they do contribute more to the whole than Xhaka.


Fair enough, I have to admit that I wasn’t really thinking about him and I don’t really see him in that same role or in a midfield two but he is primarily a midfielder so that point stands. That’s also not going to change with the dip in form he has.

This part I don’t really agree with, but I can see why anyone would think so. He’s definitely not played to his real potential quite yet and with how he got sent off twice it’s fair to say that he needs to work on that part of his game. Still, that being said I see him as a bigger part of our midfield two in the future over the names mentioned and would not at all call it a wrong decision to buy him quite yet.


Elneny first 15 games have been better than Xhaka’s first 15 games, so I’m not sure why Xhaka is the only one who gets “under a new manager he’ll be great I won’t judge him!”.


Ramsey’s been so mediocre for so long that he’s sunk far below Xhaka in my book. Xhaka’s still auditioning for the star midfield role, Ramsey’s failed a dozen auditions and is headed for panto season at Butlin’s


Gladbach replaced him with the better player, and they only had to pay £12.75m.

I’d usually say that yes, it’s too early to say that it was a wrong decision. But since I don’t think he’s a top talent, and because you could have signed better/more promising players for less, then I think it’s fair to say that it was a mistake to sign him.


Can’t say I agree 100% here. Xhaka is a much better passer of the ball than Kramer, and has created more in terms of playmaking from that position last year, than Kramer does this year. Other than that, you’re probably correct.

As for the transfer fees, there are a few factors worth considering. Leverkusen, as I recall, were pretty sympathetic with Kramer leaving, as they had alternatives in Bender and Aranguiz (haha), got Baumgartlinger cheap and probably thought they could replace him quite easily. Not particularly clever planing, but whatever.
Xhaka, on the other hand, was quite central to Gladbachs season, being by far the player with most touches and passes. Leverkusen bought Kampl, who I think is a better player than Kramer, and who had even one year more left on his contract, for €11 million from Dortmund. BVB wanted to get rid of him, and did not demand a lot.
You also have to consider how the windfall from the new tv contract made PL clubs splash significantly more cash, simply because they could afford it. Transfers within Germany are still a lot lower in price. So I don’t think you can really compare the volume of these two deals.


No, you can’t compare the deals and I’m not suggesting you can. That’s my point, because you can compare the players. A key player from a CL team is always going to be expensive, I get that. There was nothing stopping Arsenal though, from making a more valuable signing like Kramer. He’s just one example though. Other players, who moved this summer would include: Cyprien, Keita, Guerreiro and Diawara. All of them very cheap and very talented/already good.

If you pay £38.25m, for a player who is only (at best and in the right team) good, then you’re probably not really making an intelligent deal. Other less “obvious” and less expensive deals can always be made when we’re talking about players of this quality.


@A.F. @CunningLinguist can one of you please change your profile picture? The black and white mugshots plus the typically well-articulated posts makes it very hard for my pea-brain to tell you apart, this morning I got home and read this thread and got very very confused thinking that either A.F. or CL was having a conversation with himself, in which he disagreed with himself. :grimacing:


In the end, until we get close to spending too much, which I think would take a few years in a row like last summer, it doesn’t bother me that they spent a lot on a player. The problem is the player isn’t really clearly good enough to be a star in our team, and that is what is needed to take over for the Wizardly Caz.

Maybe Granit will come good and be a solid contributor for years to come, but for me his basic technique, composure, and intelligence say that is his best case ceiling. This guy isn’t a star for me.


Xhaka’s been great so far, baller and great passes from deep. Some people’s expectations are too high. Red cards are his only flaw.