Arsene Wenger has likened new midfield signing Granit Xhaka to old Gunners hero Emmanuel Petit.
“He is a guy who plays naturally behind the ball, a bit similar to Petit in the way he plays football,” said the manager after Arsenal’s win over Watford.
“He likes to sit, give good long balls and be available for the centre-backs. He has a good mixture of short and long balls, and in midfield it is important for us to sometimes stretch defenders.
“We have a game that is based on shorter passes than other teams so sometimes you have a player who can kick the longer ball gives us a chance to get some oxygen and some space. He has a big focus and I think he is mentally strong.”
And Wenger hopes Xhaka can also deliver some of the leadership qualities many observers feel Arsenal have lacked.
“He is 24 years old, he has already experience abroad and that is always a problem and is more reassuring when a player has already played abroad somewhere.
“He was captain at his age at Monchengladbach, that is not a small club so he has leadership qualities.”