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Wenger: Xhaka has “stature, power, strength” to succeed in PL, but needs time

Arsenal v Manchester City: Pre-Season Friendly

GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN - AUGUST 07: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal during the Pre-Season Friendly between Arsenal and Manchester City at Ullevi on August 7, 2016 in Gothenburg, Sweden. (Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello/Getty Images)

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Granit Xhaka has endured a relatively slow start to his Premier League career — relative to what was expected given his $45-million price tag — but Arsene Wenger says there’s no need to worry, that the 23-year-old Swiss star will come good with time.

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Four games into the 2016-17 season, Arsenal currently sit seventh in the league table, five points back of leaders Manchester City already. So, of course the club’s supporters are pressing every panic button in sight, lashing out at whichever scapegoat is the easiest target.

Don’t do it, though, say Wenger, because everything will be alright — quotes from the Guardian:

“It’s not about his quality at the moment as he adapts to the pace of the English game. And for me it’s about pairs as well who work together. Coquelin and Cazorla have worked well together. He will play games and every week he is stronger and better. He will have a huge impact as a player.

“He has the stature, he has the power, he has the strength. What we want is to use that in a very efficient way. We are in September, we started in August so it’s one month. Many players take time to get into the team, but he will do that without any problem.

“I personally prefer him as a box-to-box player, because he has the engine, he has the power, he has the long pass. He likes to come deep and distribute the game, but he has the engine to have the impact with his runs.”

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Of course Xhaka, a newcomer to the PL, and an extremely young one at that, will need time to adapt to the speed and physicality of the league, particularly in the center of midfield. Anyone who expected him to walk into the team and immediately thrive was only ever setting themselves up for disappointment, as is just about always the case with young newcomers to the PL.

One day we’ll all learn, maybe.

Follow @AndyEdMLS