Article by Dean Carr of SBAT.com
Borussia Monchengladbach and Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer says life at the Bundesliga club won’t be the same after letting Granit Xhaka leave for Arsenal.
Sommer, 27, is set to line up alongside his former club teammate Xhaka at international level this summer, with the pair both included in Switzerland’s 23-man squad for the upcoming European Championships.
Arsenal’s £30million man was a lynchpin in the Monchengladbach midfield over the past few seasons, establishing himself as their main playmaker in the middle of the park and made a total of 140 appearances for the club across a four-year spell.
Sommer admits securing an equal replacement will be difficult for the club to find and calls the departure a “huge loss”.
“His departure is a huge loss for us because Xhaka is not just very important as a player, but also as a person,” Sommer told sport1.de.
“You can see that he is the one pulling the strings in midfield and our game would often run through him.
“He was the one creating our game and it’s always hard when you lose such an important personality. Now we’ve got to find a new playmaker, but I’m sure Borussia will do a good job and soon present our new Granit Xhaka.”
Sommer is the second Swiss international to wax lyrical over Xkaka’s ability since joining Arsenal, with ex-Gunner Johan Djourou likening the 23-year-old to Italian playmaker Andrea Pirlo.
“He’s got this ability to play very long balls, very precise balls, and I always say he reminds me a bit of Pirlo, the way he plays.
“He’s got the ability to play the Arsenal way. He’s got this aggressiveness about him that will help him in the Premier League, and he’s a great ball player and ball winner as well.”
Djourou also revealed how Xhaka spoke to him when he became aware of interest from Arsenal, from which the defender – who enjoyed a mixed spell at the club between 2003-2014 and now plies his trade in the Bundesliga with Hamburg – gave a glowing report of both the club and London.
“He asked me a lot of things about London, the club, and I could only say great things about it because I had a great experience there,” he added.
“I think that the people at the club are just amazing, and those who run the club as well. I think he’s going to have a great time.”
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