English Premiership

Xhaka's time will come, says Wenger

2016-09-16 19:08
Granit Xhaka (Arsenal website)

London - New Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka will be given opportunities to nail down a first-team place after dropping out of the starting XI, manager Arsene Wenger said on Friday.

Wenger spent £35 million to prise Xhaka from Borussia Moenchengladbach during the close season, making him one of Arsenal's biggest ever signings.

The 23-year-old has started Arsenal's last two games on the bench with Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin playing in central midfield, but Wenger has indicated the Switzerland international could play farther forward.

"I personally prefer him as a box-to-box player," the Frenchman told a press conference ahead of Saturday's trip to Hull City.

"Because he has the engine, he has the power, he has the long pass. He likes to come deep and distribute, but he has the engine to have the impact with his runs.

"It's not about his quality at the moment. He adapts to the pace of the English game. For me it's about pairs as well who work together. Coquelin and Cazorla have worked well together.

"He will play games. Every week he's stronger and better. He will have a huge impact. We are (in) September; we started in August, so it's one month.

"Many players take time to get into the team. He will do that without any problem."

Wenger hopes to have winger Theo Walcott available at Hull following a knee injury, but midfielder Aaron Ramsey (hamstring) remains sidelined and centre-back Gabriel (ankle) is short of match fitness.

Striker Olivier Giroud requires a late fitness test after hurting his toe in Tuesday's 1-1 draw at Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

Arsenal made a slow start to the season, losing at home to Liverpool and drawing at Leicester City, but they have won their last two games against Watford and Southampton.

Hull's early season form has been impressive. They go into Saturday's game level on points with Arsenal and Wenger praised their caretaker manager Mike Phelan, who has been offered the job on a permanent basis.

"He's doing very well," Wenger said of the former Manchester United assistant manager.

"He's experienced after working at big clubs in big competitions. He has done really well. He is a real football man and has given some stability to Hull. They are difficult to beat.

"What is important is he has experience of the big games and the knowledge you get from these big games."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
26 September 2016
Burnley v Watford, Turf Moor 21:00
30 September 2016
Everton v Crystal Palace, Goodison Park 21:00
01 October 2016
Swansea City v Liverpool, Liberty Stadium 13:30
West Ham United v Middlesbrough, Olympic Stadium 16:00
Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion, Stadium of Light 16:00
Hull City v Chelsea, The KC Stadium 16:00
Watford v Bournemouth, Vicarage Road 16:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Will Jose Mourinho lead Manchester United to the English Premiership title in 2016/17?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

Big month in the world of golf as the FedEx Cup concludes on the PGA Tour, the Race to Dubai gathers steam on the European Tour and the Sunshine Tour offers local golfers the chance to bank some cash. Oh, and not forgetting the USA v Europe Ryder Cup showdown at Hazeltine!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.