Granit Xhaka has revealed that the pace of the Premier League and the fact he had moved to a new country are the reasons why he took some time to adapt at Arsenal. The Swiss international arrived in the summer and after being used sparingly in the initial stages of the season, is now a crucial part of the first-team (via Sky Sports).
Granit Xhaka’s role in the Arsenal team has undoubtedly increased in recent months. The Swiss international was used sparingly during the early part of the season with Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla the preferred pairing. Injuries to both players and impressive performance in cup competitions have now given Xhaka a starting role in this Arsenal team, and the midfielder has revealed why it took him so long to adapt to the Premier League.
“I followed it [the Premier League] from when I was really young and the league keeps getting quicker and quicker,” he told Sky Sports. “You notice it already in training, not just the games. In games, you notice there’s more sprints than in Bundesliga. It takes a while to get used to.
“It’s quicker and more physical, that separates it from the other major leagues in Europe.
“The first few months in a new country are always really hard,” he adds. “Looking back I made some mistakes when I first went to ‘Gladbach, I spoke too much and didn’t do enough [on the pitch].
“Moving to England, again it’s a new language to learn and I’ve got to get use to the mentality, the culture but I think I’ve integrated myself really well into this team and I’m happy so far.”
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The player himself probably isn’t alone in that respect. Granit Xhaka’s performances have been very impressive in recent weeks as he has subtly controlled matches. His technical ability is second to none and at 6 foot 1, is a different build to almost every central midfielder Arsenal have had in recent years.
“I still want to improve in every way,” Xhaka went on. “I’m a young player I want to work and that’s my aim, to improve in every single aspect of my play.”
“It’s too early to say what’s going to happen this season. A club like Arsenal it’s normal that expectations are high this club must compete for titles and that’s what we want to do.”
The Gunners take on Burnley and Watford in the next two fixtures before the big showdown at Stamford Bridge. On current form, Arsenal will need Granit Xhaka if they are going to win all three.