Dietmar Hamann delivers ‘top-class’ verdict on Arsenal signing

The former Liverpool midfielder is a big fan of Arsene Wenger's summer signing Granit Xhaka

Dietmar Hamann has hailed Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka as a top-class signing for Arsenal ahead of Sunday’s north London derby.

The Switzerland international could return to the Arsenal side for the visit of Mauricio Pochettino’s side after serving a three-game suspension for his red card in a 3-2 victory over Swansea City last month.

The 23-year-old was the first of Arsene Wenger’s summer signings after the defensive midfielder moved to Arsenal in a £33m deal from Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach in May.

Xhaka triggered Arsenal’s Champions League comeback on Wednesday night as Wenger’s side came from 2-0 down to beat Bulgarian outfit Ludogorets 3-2 thanks to Mesut Ozil’s late winner.

Former Liverpool and Newcastle midfielder Hamann believes Xhaka has provided Wenger’s Arsenal side with some bite ahead of Sunday’s north London derby at The Emirates.

“In Shkodran Mustafi they have a proper defender and for the first time since Alex Song left for Barcelona they finally have a holding midfielder in Granit Xhaka,” Hamann wrote in his Paddy Power blog.

“Arsenal’s Achilles heel has been that defensive fragility, and despite trying Mikel Arteta and Francis Coquelin as a holding midfielder they never replaced Song. Xhaka is a top-class player, and one of the best in the business in that role.”

Arsenal are in second place in the Premier League table but level on points with leaders Manchester City.

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The Gunners haven’t a lost a game since a 4-3 defeat by title rivals Liverpool in their opening game of the Premier League season.

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