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October 2016
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Xhaka to be top Swiss of the Premier League?


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Surely it can’t be hard for Xhaka to top Shaqiri?

Ok, so we all know about our huge summer signing and his potential to be the best thing to happen to the Gunners’ midfield since Patrick Vieira. It was frankly about time for Arsene Wenger to splash the cash on a recognised world-class defensive midfielder, and Granit Xhaka has what it takes to fit the bill. Will he be the best Swiss player ever to grace the Premier League, though?

Well, that may not actually be too hard. Let’s think for a moment about the current crop of Swiss players in the top flight:

  1. Xherdan Shaqiri- Stoke City
  2. Gokhan Inler- Leicester City
  3. Valon Behrami- Watford

Shaqiri came to England full of promise, dubbed by some as the “Alpine Messi”, and did show off a few tricks in a couple of matches. With a meagre three goals and six assists, though, it turned out that he was actually a real let down, and more like the “Alpine Charlie Adam”. Playing for Stoke obviously didn’t help his cause, and he may have achieved a higher output had he been playing for us, but we can only deal in facts here.

Inler was even more of a disappointment. Bought by Claudio Ranieri as a replacement for the former midfield general, Esteban Cambiasso, it turned out that the ex-Napoli man wasn’t needed thanks to N’Golo Kante storming in and taking his place. The 32-year old played a total of 194 minutes for the champions and probably wished he’d stayed in Italy.

There’s not much point going into great detail about Behrami; he plays for a club that have outstayed their welcome in the top flight and will probably sink like a lead balloon this season. But if you wanted to know, he made 21 appearances for the club and got one assist last season.

It is fair to say that Wenger’s new Swiss army knife will cut this meek competition to shreds. We already know some of what to expect from the £35million signing after seeing his man-of-the-match performances at Euro 2016.

It is quite hard to think of other notable Swiss players in the Premier League, so for Xhaka to win the crown, he will simply have to outdo a couple of old Gunners. Johan Djourou and Philippe Senderos are the only other two Swiss players to feature for Arsenal.

Xhaka will certainly be hoping for a better start to his Arsenal career than Senderos. The former Arsenal man missed the entirety of his debut season at the club, which could have been for the best as we won the league undefeated without him. It’s fair to say that both the Swiss defenders suffered painfully average spells at Arsenal.

Our new signing could be about to change the Swiss image in the Premier League, though. Xhaka certainly has the style, the ability, and the presence to take command of our midfield and give us the edge we were missing last season.

Although it isn’t much of an achievement, the signing of the summer is set to be the best Swiss ever to play in England’s top flight.

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9 comments to Xhaka to be top Swiss of the Premier League?

  • westwing

    Very funny when taking penalty. Will he still take penalties. With Giroud and Theo team is full of players who cannot shoot into goal. Maybe Holding could take Giroud place. Will write to Arsene.

  • Gord

    Perhaps this could be a theme for new articles? Start at the bottom of the FIFA world rankings (sort of), and find if there are any players from that nation who played in the EPL, and then rank those players. Did any of them play for Arsenal? Did any try out for Arsenal? Were any mentioned as transfer targets of Arsenal?

    In terms of penalties, I thought Arteta was top of the list, now gone. I thought Santi was second, he is still here.

    I haven’t memorised last season, but I think the season before Arsenal had 16 players who had scored at least 1 goal. So much for Arsenal being full of players that can’t score.

  • Pat

    The best thing to happen to Arsenal’s midfield since Vieira?

    Rather a broad statement, surely? What about all our other wonderful midfield signings and home grown players? We’re talking here about a player that has not even started the season.

    Of course I wish Xhaka well but no need to overdo it!

  • Tom

    If you are going to pass judgment on the Alpine Messi, let’s put things into perspective here and compare him to the one and only Messi.

    Messi is reportedly on £500,000 per week, the Alpine Messi on £65,000.
    Messi scored 26 goals in la liga and assisted 18 times in 300 more minutes of play.

    Alpine Messi scored 3 and assisted 6 goals in 300 minutes less , with a new team , in a new league most people consider tougher than la liga.

    According to my back of the napkin calculations, Messi scored 1league goal for Barca for every 19K, Alpine Messi for 21K

    Barca paid Messi almost 28K per league assist, Stoke paid The Alpine Messi only about 11K per assist.

    Considering the fact most people think Messi had a great season and is worth every penny he makes, one can only conclude the Alpine Messi is also worth the money and he had himself a very good season relative the financial stand point.

    Incidentally, Xhaka had the identical goal and assist tally in his final year in German league as The Alpine Messi in his first year at Stoke.
    The difference of course is this: Shakiri is a winger and Xhaka is a CM.

  • westwing

    Maybe Xaka on wing then.

  • John L.

    Disrespectful to Djourou and Senderos. The latter in particular had some outstanding games in the ECL campaign of 2006.

    The ability to take penalties is not a required skill for Arsenal players, for reasons which have been fully explored on his site.

  • nicky

    I agree.
    Both men had good games for Arsenal and were never short of effort.

  • Ajay

    I am looking forward to see xhaka start for arsenal when the PL matches kick off come the 13th of August. But to start comparisons to see if he is the best Swiss import is premature & unfair to the other guys who have put in game time for the club. Let his statistics come out after a season and then even then we don’t need to waste time in gloating.

  • westwing

    He will not take penalty then but maybe give penalty away to much and many red and yellows card and big ban to. My nephew tells me and wearing spud shirt and wife laughing though she say xaka very cute.