Arsenal are on the brink of completing the first major deal of the summer with Granit Xhaka close to arriving at the club from Borussia Monchengladbach in a deal worth a reported £35 million to the Bundesliga side.
Capable of shooting from range, known for breaking up attacking players and a fine passer of the ball to boot, Xhaka is already being touted as the natural successor to Mikel Arteta, who has been released by the club following his contract expiring.
Here are six things Arsenal supporters should know about their new acquisition.
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Singled out as one to watch from an early age, Xhaka was part of the Switzerland youth side that defied the odds to win the 2009 Under-17 World Cup.
Having topped their group with victory over a Brazil side boasting Neymar and Philippe Coutinho, Xhaka's Swiss team went on to beat Germany in the last 16, despite Die Mannschaft having the likes of Mario Gotze and goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen in their ranks.
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Italy, with Stephen El Shaarawy, were put to the sword in the quarter finals before victories over Colombia and Nigeria sealed the trophy. It was their first title.
A product of Basel's youth academy, Xhaka thrived alongside Stoke City winger Xherdan Shaqiri, with the pair winning two Swiss League titles and a Swiss Cup together during their time at the club.
Despite Shaqiri generating the bigger headlines by moving to Bayern Munich compared to Xhaka who opted to Borussia Monchengladbach, former Basel manager Thorsten Fink had a clear favourite.
“[Xherdan Shaqiri is] the best talent in Switzerland...after Granit Xhaka,” he told Goal.com.
Former Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund manager Ottmar Hitzfeld singled the midfielder out for particular praise during his stint as manager of Switerzland.
“I see similarities between Granit and Bastian Schweinsteiger, whom I promoted to the first team at Bayern Munich when he was 18,” he told FourFourTwo.
“He is extremely mature, highly intelligent, reads the game well and has good technical skills.”
As a combative midfielder, Xhaka has always got into his fare share of scrapes – as a record of 40 yellow cards in his career to date attests - but in recent times the 23-year-old has been guilty of losing his cool a little more often.
Over the past three seasons the Switzerland international has been sent off five times in the Bundesliga, with three of those dismissals coming this season.
The most infamous red card of his career to date, however, came last season when Xhaka was dismissed for kicking out at Darmstadt midfiedler Peter Niemeyer. It remains his only straight red card to date.
Born in Basel to Kosovan parents, Granit is actually the younger brother of footballer sibling Taulant Xhaka. A defender by trade, the 25-year-old Taulant Xhaka is still with Basel and recently chose to represent Albania.
That means the brothers are set to face each other at Euro 2016, representing Switzerland and Albania respectfully, in a scenario previously witnessed when Jerome Boateng and Kevin-Prince Boateng lined up for Germany and Ghana, respectively, at the 2010 World Cup.
Dubbed the 'Little Einstein' by the press due to his love of science and precise passing, Xhaka has always had one very specific target.
"England is my dream. I do not hide it,” he once told The Mirror. “Whether I'll be happy there, only the good Lord knows.”
We will soon find out if he's happy in England as his proposed move to Arsenal moves ever closer.
Will Granit Xhaka to Arsenal be the best transfer of the summer? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!
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