Swiss champions Basel have been the surprise package in this season's Champions League, and boast some impressive homegrown talent among their number.

Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka are arguably the two most gifted young players at the disposal of Heiko Vogel and, with the former off to Bayern Munich in the summer, there is increased speculation regarding the future of the latter.

Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal have all been credited with interest in Xhaka and, it would appear, it is only a matter of time before he leaves St Jakob-Park.

With a move to the Premier League potentially in the offing for Xhaka, GMF takes a closer look at the teenage midfielder...

PROS

Aged only 19, Xhaka is building up quite a reputation for himself after a number of cultured displays on the continent for Basel this season.

The Swiss midfielder featured prominently in both encounters with Manchester United - with Basel drawing at Old Trafford and winning on home soil - while he also played a key role in the defeat of Bayern Munich.

This experience in the Champions League at such an early stage in his career will make Xhaka a more attractive proposition for potential suitors, and is proof that has the ability to compete at the highest level.

Although able to operate on the left of midfield, Xhaka is more comfortable when deployed in the centre, and his versatility is certainly an attribute.

He possesses tight ball control, has an impressive range of passing and is not afraid to shoot from range.

Xhaka is also a good build for a central midfielder - standing at around 6ft - and is able to impose himself on the opposition, when required to do so.

CONS

It would be unfair to highlight too many failings in Xhaka's game at such an early stage in his career, with the Switzerland international still learning how to fine tune his game.

But it is certainly worth taking a look at areas in which the teenager could improve, should he be granted a move to the Premier League this summer.

In terms of statistics, Xhaka does not fare particularly well when it comes to directly involved in the creation of goals for his team.

In 23 appearances for club and country this term, Xhaka has failed to register a single assist, while he has found the net on only one occasion.

Naturally, scoring goals is not what he is necessarily employed to do, but he would be expected to have a greater influence in the final third when it comes to the creation of chances.

His skills in this area can, of course, be honed and perhaps he would thrive in a side blessed with more clinical finishers than Basel.

VERDICT

Xhaka is certainly an exciting prospect, and his acquisition would prove to be a coup for either Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea or Arsenal.

The 19-year-old is reportedly valued between £5-10 million and, although this may be viewed as quite expensive for a teenager, it should be seen as quite a snip for a player boasting Champions League experience and an abundance of potential.

Liverpool appear to be making the early running for Xhaka but, if GMF were to choose an ideal destination in which the youngster would thrive, it would be Arsenal.

Topics:
#Arsenal
#Chelsea
#Premier League
#Manchester United
#Liverpool
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