Gunners ace hails Emery arrival
Granit Xhaka says he is in the best form of his Arsenal career and puts that down to new boss Unai Emery.
Xhaka has had a tough time of it at the Emirates Stadium since arriving from Borussia Monchengladbach for £40million in 2016, but is finally starting to show his best form.
It is no coincidence that his improved fortunes come after Emery replaced Arsene Wenger, and Xhaka has paid tribute to the Spanish tactician.
"It's definitely my best season so far," he told Aargauer Zeitung. "Without doubt, I think I've taken another step forward. It's the best I've felt at Arsenal since I came to the club and the coach has had an enormous influence.
"He prepares us all and we have a plan. We know how to do it with the ball and without the ball. We know how and when to stand where.
"Emery is like Lucien Favre [whom Xhaka played for at Gladbach], a freak who pushes us back and forth, 10 times, until everyone understands.
"I never had contact with him [Emery] until after the World Cup. When I got back to training, the first thing he told me was: 'Granit, you're one of my five captains.'
"I'm at one of the top 10 clubs in the world, so that makes you proud and gives you confidence.
"It was a great sign of the club to extend my contract until 2023. For me that's a huge sign of appreciation. I knew then I was very important to the club."
Michael Holland is a reporter with over two decades of journalism experience. A Bolton fan, Michael often writes football articles, as well as having a strong knowledge of golf, cricket and Australian sports.