Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Switzerland international Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach on a long-term contract for an undisclosed fee. The 23-year-old becomes the first signing made by the Gunners this summer after he completed a medical in London. He will join up with his new teammates after the European Championships.
Xhaka is expected to play a key role for the Swiss national team when the tournament starts in June, as they face hosts France, Romania and Albania in Group A at Euro 2016. Since making his debut in 2011, Xhaka has racked up 41 international appearances. Coupled with the country's warm-up fixtures, he could reach the half-century if his team reach the final.
Following 10 years at FC Basel, where he twice claimed the Swiss title, Xhaka moved to Monchengladbach in 2012 and has enjoyed a successful stay, playing in last season's Champions League. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is thrilled with the addition and admits he has been tracking the player for some time.
"Granit Xhaka is an exciting young player, already with good Champions League and Bundesliga experience," he told Arsenal's official website upon confirmation of the signing. "We have been watching him for a long time now and he is a player who will add quality to our squad. We wish Granit a good Euro 2016 with Switzerland and look forward to welcoming him to Arsenal ahead of next season."
The addition of Xhaka has, according to The Mirror, seen Arsenal shell out £30m, making him the club's third most expensive signing after Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. His arrival follows the departure of midfielders Mathieu Flamini, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky at the end of last term.
Suggestions that Xhaka was close to being confirmed as an Arsenal player first circled over the weekend when the player was pictured wearing the club's new kit. The north London club finished second in the Premier League last season, leapfrogging Tottenham Hotspur on the final day at the end of an otherwise disappointing campaign.