clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Arsenal to sign Granit Xhaka?

Wenger might be looking for his rock in midfield.

Martin Rose/Getty Images

Much has been made of Arsenal's midfield conundrum the past two seasons. From the Santi-Coquelin pairing not being defensively stout/intelligent enough to Aaron Ramsey's inclusion leading to people pining for the days of him on the right wing to Mohamed Elneny still being a work in progress, Arsene Wenger has understandably come under fire for his lack of a clear plan and acquisition of top-end talent in this area.

However, it would appear that the papers both in England and Germany, more notably Germany's respected Bild, are starting to pick up the momentum in a Granit Xhaka-to-Arsenal transfer rumor which would, on paper, perhaps be the solution to the midfield question. Wenger has been rumored to have met with the Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder's agent in advance of a £35.3 million move this summer and though all rumors should be taken with a massive grain of salt, one can't help but be a little excited at the possibility of a player of Xhaka's quality coming in.

Xhaka is not a pure defensive midfielder who'll look to crush legs first and shield the back four at all times second. However, he's a fantastic distributor from the back as he averages 85 passes per game (third in the Bundesliga) at a 85 percent success clip. Defensively, he's a hothead who fouls too much and picks up too many cards but a combined 5.3 tackles and interceptions per game and 3.6 aerial duels won per game is something to take serious note of. Defensive metrics are an imperfect science, of course, but this is a great young passer with a defensive nous that is no worse than Coquelin and appears to be growing each season. Pair him next to Ramsey and you'd have yourself a midfield two that can pass in all situations, defend and be a threat in the final third.

That being said, we're only in March and Arsene Wenger has seemed highly reluctant to upgrade his midfield with any substantial signing such as this. Elneny was a good depth move but his transfer fee was a fraction of what this would be so if anything, it seems more likely that Wenger will stick to reasonable signings that won't bust the bank. However, this is certainly something to keep an eye on going forward as the midfield is a contentious issue so don't be surprised if the chatter continues.