Arsenal sign Granit Xhaka – where now for Jack Wilshere?
Swiss enforcer will anchor the Arsenal midfield, but will also leave Arsene Wenger with a selection headache
Arsenal have confirmed the signing of the Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach for a fee believed to be around £30m.
The signing of the player is hailed as a "huge statement of intent" by John Cross in the Daily Mirror, while some have even put him forward as a candidate for the captaincy after he led Gladbach to fourth in the Bundesliga table last season.
The 23-year-old is the third most expensive signing in Arsenal history and is sure to be given a place alongside Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil in Arsene Wenger's first choice side.
"There is no doubt that Xhaka – a 23-year-old enforcer full of energy – is exactly what Arsenal need to anchor their midfield," says Cross. "It's what Arsenal have been crying out for almost since Patrick Vieira left. The midfield general."
But where does his arrival leave Arsenal's other midfielders and in particular Jack Wilshere? The Englishman is similar in age and looks to Xhaka, but eight inches shorter, and is unlikely to beat the new arrival to the central midfield berth that he covets.
The Swiss footballer will add steel to the heart of the Emirates midfield but will also increase Wenger's selection problems, warns ESPN.
"Despite the fact that Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini will depart this summer, the Switzerland International will make Arsenal's central midfield even more crowded next season, with six players essentially fighting for two spots," writes Mattias Karen.
"With Jack Wilshere already having made it clear that he doesn't like playing out wide, and the number ten spot occupied by Mesut Ozil, it is difficult to see how Wenger will keep everyone happy."
Defensive midfielders Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny may be drafted in alongside Xhaka for tougher games, but Goal.com and the Daily Telegraph agree that Santi Cazorla will be his first-choice midfield partner.
That means the real losers are likely to be Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, who will be forced to fight for scraps off the bench or on the wings, where Arsenal already have an abundance of players including Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alex Iwobi and Theo Walcott, plus a raft of up and coming youngsters.