Granit Xhaka has praised new signings Willian and Gabriel Magalhaes for bringing “quality and mentality” to the Arsenal dressing room.
Former Chelsea forward Willian arrived on a three year contract earlier this summer tasked precisely with bringing a degree of experience to a frontline largely populated by younger prospects.
Meanwhile Gabriel is the only player Arsenal have spent a fee on so far, agreeing a £25million deal with Lille for the Brazilian centre-back, who has already established himself as a regular starter under Mikel Arteta.
No less important to Arteta’s plans was securing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s signature to a new three-year contract, the Gabon striker opting to turn down moves to Champions League clubs abroad in a bid to cement his status as an Arsenal legend.
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“With Willian and Gabriel, Arsenal brought a lot of quality and mentality into the dressing room,” Xhaka told the Swiss Telegraphic Agency. “Willian knows how to win titles.
“And the extension with Aubameyang was an important signal for all of us – we want to go back to the Champions League.”
Arsenal’s business, which also included a further year on loan for Dani Ceballos, may not be over. The Gunners have lodged an opening bid for Houssem Aouar that has been rejected by Lyon but they are expected to return to the negotiating table in the coming days.
However it seems unlikely that Xhaka will become a peripheral part of Arsenal’s plans even if Aouar arrives. Arteta holds the midfielder in high esteem and played a crucial role in convincing him not to depart the club in January.
Xhaka seemed bound for Hertha Berlin, his relationship with Arsenal severed having been stripped of the captaincy for swearing at supporters. Yet talks with Arteta, who emphasised his importance to the system he wanted to…