Granit Xhaka delivers Arsenal transfer verdict as Gunners eye Houssem Aouar deal

Granit Xhaka has heaped praise on Arsenal new boys Willian and Gabriel Magalhaes, insisting the pair’s arrivals have given the squad more “quality. The north Londoners signed Willian in August on a free transfer following the expiration of his contract with Chelsea, with the winger penning a three-year deal at the Emirates.

Magalhaes, meanwhile, joined the current FA Cup holders in September from French side Lille for a fee of £23million.

The Brazilians were immediately thrown into the starting XI by Gunners boss Mikel Arteta and have both made good starts to their respective Arsenal careers.

Among those impressed by the South Americans is former Arsenal skipper Xhaka, who believes the acquisition of the pair has markedly improved the team.

“With Willian and Gabriel, Arsenal brought a lot of quality and mentality into the dressing room,” Xhaka told the Swiss Telegraphic Agency. “Willian knows how to win titles.

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With Willian and Gabriel, Arsenal brought a lot of quality and mentality into the dressing room

Granit Xhaka

“And the extension with Aubameyang was an important signal for all of us – we want to go back to the Champions League.”

Xhaka’s Arsenal career looked to be over late last year after he infamously swore at fans after he was substituted in the Gunners’ 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.

The Albanian-born Switzerland international looked set to return to the Bundesliga with Hertha Berlin, who had reportedly agreed a deal to acquire his services.

A move back to Germany, however, never materialised for the 27-year-old, who admits Arteta convinced him not to leave north London.


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“One thing is certain: I wouldn’t be in London without him,” Xhaka said of Arteta, who took the reigns at Arsenal last December.

“He was the decisive factor, with his philosophy, with his style, with his idea. I am really grateful to him for that.

“I am indulging Mikel Arteta with [the FA Cup] victory. It gives him confidence and a certain security.

“We players saved a strange season with the last possible qualification for international business.

“I don’t want to imagine how the reactions would have been if we had missed the Europa League.”

Arteta could soon ending deeming Xhaka to be surplus to requirements should he sign Houssem Aouar from Lyon.

Xhaka and his Arsenal team-mates will be back in action on Monday night, travelling to Anfield to take on defending Premier League champions Liverpool.

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