Granit Xhaka enjoys impressive Arsenal debut vs MLS All-Stars

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Two months on from his £35 million arrival at Arsenal and fans were finally given the chance to see Granit Xhaka in action on Friday morning.

The Switzerland international starred for the Gunners in a pre-season friendly and played 45 minutes against the MLS All-Stars.

And he largely impressed. Strong, composed and commanding, Xhaka dominated in the centre of the park, making a number of strong challenges and spraying passes across the pitch to his new teammates.


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Unfortunately for Arsenal supporters, due to the game being played in the United States, many were forced to miss the game.

But never fear, because someone has been kind enough to compile a highlights reel of Xhaka's best moments at the Avaya Stadium (see below).


A particular moment of promise came at 2:35, when Xhaka received the ball from Rob Holding and drove forward before unleashing a fine strike at goal from 30-yards out.

Arsenal are infamous for their perfectionist approach to football, so to see a player willing to take risks from range is refreshing.

In the aftermath of his side's 2-1 win, Arsene Wenger revealed his delight at how Xhaka played on his debut.

He said, per the Mirror: "He adjusted very well, his passing was clean and technically he did well.

"Overall, I believe for a first game it's encouraging."

The Frenchman now has a welcome selection dilemma on his hands, with Xhaka, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny all fighting for two central midfield roles.

If only the same could be said for Arsenal's attacking options.

Wenger has been busy in the transfer window trying to sign a new striker but so far to no avail, with Alvaro Morata and Gonzalo Higuain evading his grasp.

Alexandre Lacazette would now appear to be his top target but the issue remains that Lyon are holding out for a huge transfer fee.

Arsenal are expected to make an improved and final bid in the coming days, with Wenger on the lookout for "experience" where a new striker is concerned.

"I have, at the moment, not too many attacking options of experienced players," he said.

"Let's not forget that we still have a few players at home and a few players who didn’t play today like [Santi Cazorla]. And of course we have [Mesut Ozil] and [Aaron Ramsey] at home. And [Olivier Giroud] is not here.

"So we have options, but we still look outside to find one more."

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Thierry Henry
Alexis Sanchez
UEFA Champions League
Granit Xhaka
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