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Can Xhaka be the new Arsenal Petit? 

Xhaka can be arsenal’s new petit. The Switzerland international has impressed in his first appearances for the north London outfit, and his manager is thrilled with his start to Premier League life

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hailed the impact of Granit Xhaka on his side and sees similarities with ex-Gunner Emmanuel Petit.

Summer signing Xhaka started against both and Watford, with his performance at Vicarage Road particularly impressive.

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And Wenger believes the Switzerland international has what it takes to replicate the displays put in by Petit, who won the Premier League with the north London outfit in 1997-98.

“He is a guy who plays naturally behind the ball, a bit similar to Petit in the way he plays football,” he told reporters.

“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.

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“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 already has experience abroad and that is reassuring. He was captain at his young age at Monchengladbach, which is not a small club, so he has leadership qualities.

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He has a good engine, good stature, he is good in the air and has a good balance in his game, he has a good short ball and a good long ball.”

 

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