Mertesacker excited by prospect of ‘leader’ Xhaka

Matt Stead

Granit Xhaka’s leadership qualities and midfield attributes have been talked up by his new Arsenal team-mate Per Mertesacker.

The 23-year-old is set to join up with Arsene Wenger’s side for pre-season after signing from Borussia Monchengladbach for a fee in the region of £30m in May.

Xhaka has described himself as “capable of bringing a mean streak to the Arsenal midfield” and Mertesacker is expecting big things from the 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,” Mertesacker told Arsenal Player.

“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.”