After a mixed start to the new Premier League season, Arsenal will be getting back to their European roots tomorrow night as they prepare to take on Rapid Wien in their UEFA Europa League opener. Prior to that, however, Arsenal.com spoke to midfielder Granit Xhaka about his progress across the last twelve months – as well as how he feels about the signing of Thomas Partey.
Xhaka has been on a rollercoaster ride during his stint at the Emirates but now, it finally seems as if he’s been able to turn a real corner in North London.
“He will be the guy who is important for me and as well for the team. Everyone in the club can be happy because he has great quality,” Xhaka said.
“He will bring a good mentality, a good balance in our game because this is what we need a bit more: the mentality to win.
“He played at Atletico Madrid, a different type of football, and he will bring a lot of good quality and mentality.”
“I am a guy who has worked very hard, maybe nobody sees that – or less people – but the first day I came here and signed my contract, I was the happiest man in the world because I knew what it means to play for this club,” he said.
“I knew what the people want: it’s hard work. I think I am the right person and I want to give much more than I already give for this club.
“This is not show [to be a team leader], this is me. I don’t like the show. The leader, the stuff I am saying to you is coming from my heart, it’s not coming to show the people that, ‘He’s doing this because he has to’. No, this is in me inside and I try to help everyone.”
Nobody knows how Partey is going to do during his stint with Arsenal but one thing is for sure – this is the kind of signing that is going to make some real noise across both Europe and the rest of the Premier League. Xhaka understands that and he knows what the former Atletico Madrid star will be able to bring to the club, and even though results aren’t going to come in the blink of an eye, his presence alone is enough of a reason to celebrate.
Will Partey be a gamechanger for Arsenal?