Johan Djourou has compared new Arsenal signing Granit Xhaka to Andrea Pirlo and has told The Mirror that the Gunners are getting their hands on a “very, very, very good player”.
Three verys, wow! He must be good, but any player with an apparent likeness to Pirlo probably is.
Arsenal confirmed the capture of Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach on Tuesday. According to The Mirror, he cost £30m, which makes him the third most expensive player in the club’s history.
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Former Arsenal defender Djourou, an international teammate of Xhaka’s for Switzerland, believes that the 23-year-old is a complete midfielder who is “perfect” for the Premier League.
Djourou told The Mirror: “Granit is a great ball player. The guy has a magical left foot. He can ping the ball all over the place. He is a strong tackler – he is very hard going into tackles – and overall he is a very, very, very good player.
“He can see a pass. He can tackle, he can assist. I would say, if I am being honest, there is a little bit of a Pirlo about him, just in terms of the precision that he plays the ball with. Granit can play those types of ball.
“He can come and get the ball and ping it 40 yards onto your feet. He is that kind of player, but with more physicality to his game. It is hard to give a perfect description but I would say he has a bit of Pirlo about him.”
Djourou added in The Mirror: “I think he will cope well because he has the physicality aspect to his game already. Sometimes when people come to the Premier League they are surprised at how physical it actually is. But he already has that.
“He is a player who gets a lot of yellow cards because in Germany it is maybe a bit too hard for his opponents. But English football will be perfect for him.”
Defender Djourou made 145 appearances in 10 years at Arsenal before leaving for Hamburg in 2014, having spent the previous 18 months on loan in the Bundesliga.
He has been named in Switzerland’s squad for Euro 2016 alongside Xhaka. Vladimir Petkovic’s side have been drawn against Albania, Romania and hosts France in Group A.
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