26th March 2016: Arsenal to strengthen midfield by signing Granit?

Welcome back. Having been linked with a move to Arsenal for a while now, Sky Sports report this evening that we’re in talks to sign Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka.

In all honesty I don’t know much about the player and can’t remember seeing him play, or noticing him if I did, but having done a spot of YouTube scouting just now, I hereby grant my approval for Granit becoming a Gunner. Good on the ball? Check. Good passer? Check. Can beat a man? Check. Can defend? Check. Mobile? Mobile enough.

We do have previous for getting deals done very early having signed Lukas Podolski way before the summer window opened back in 2012 and the fact German journalist Raphael Honigstein also thinks a deal could be on certainly adds credence to the story as  far as I’m concerned.

With Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta very likely to leave at the end of the season, Jack Wilshere plagued by injuries, and Aaron Ramsey’s performances in central midfield this season strongly suggesting he’s unsuitable in that role, we clearly need to strengthen in the middle of the park so Xhaka’s signing would make a lot of sense.

Finally for today a few words from Chuba Akpom who is of course on-loan this season at Hull City. The striker says he “buzzing” for Alex Iwobi after the latter became a regular first-teamer at Arsenal this season and is determined to give it his all this coming close season so he can follow in the Nigeria international’s footsteps. He said:

It’s always good to see young British talent shining in the Premier League. Alex, I grew up with. He’s like a brother to me so I’m buzzing for him and buzzing for his progress. I just tell him that hopefully next season it’s me and him playing together. This summer I’m going to work as hard as I can and pre-season do the best that I can. It’s been a long time [at Arsenal]. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. Arsenal is a good club and I’ve always wanted to play in the first team so I’m looking forward to going back at the end of the season.

With Danny Welbeck, Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott our current options for the sole striker’s role on offer, not to mention a possible new signing in the summer, Akpom has it all to do to convince Arsene Wenger he deserves even a squad place never mind a starting spot but nonetheless it’s great to hear he’s ambitious and intends to work hard.

Right. That’s me for another day.

Catch you on Sunday.

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