Granit Xhaka is struggling to adapt at Arsenal, admits Arsene Wenger

Granit Xhaka in action for Arsenal against Watford
Image: Granit Xhaka is struggling to adapt at Arsenal, according to Arsene Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has conceded that £34m summer signing Granit Xhaka is struggling to adapt to the Premier League.

The Gunners purchased Xhaka in May 2016 from Borussia Mönchengladbach for the third highest transfer fee in the club's history behind stars Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. 

As yet, the Switzerland international has failed to establish himself in Wenger's plans and it's something which the Arsenal boss admits needs to change. 

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"He needs to adapt, then we need to find the balance," Wenger said when quizzed on Xhaka's absence from the team. 

Arsene Wenger of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on November 18, 2016 in St Albans, England
Image: Wenger was speaking of Xhaka ahead of his side's fixture with Bournemouth

"We have the positional play, he plays in a deeper lying midfield position, he passes through the lines. He needs to adapt to the way we play and the tactical pace of the English game. I am confident he will do very well.

"If you look at Thierry Henry at the start when he came here, he was not playing. He did not play until November, he was as well 23 years old. We are in November now."

Xhaka has notched three goals for the club so far this season in all competitions including spectacular long-range efforts against Hull City in the league and Nottingham Forest in the League Cup. 

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ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 27:  Manager Arsene Wenger of Arsenal talks to Granit Xhaka during an Arsenal training session ahead of the Champions League
Image: Xhaka was signed in the summer for £34m but has failed to make a significant impact

Xhaka has started just five times for the club this season though, completing 90 minutes on just one occasion in the league despite the fact that fellow midfielder Santi Cazorla has largely been absent with an Achilles injury. 

"Yes, but that is part of the job," Wenger added when asked if Xhaka was struggling at present. 

"People want you to buy players but when you buy them we only have 11 and not 22 and they feel sorry for the 11 who do not play but you want them to compete and convince you that they can get in the team and that becomes obvious they have to play.

Referee Jon Moss shows the red card to Granit Xhaka  at the Emirates Stadium
Image: Xhaka was sent off against Swansea taking the number of red cards he has received in the last two years to eight

"Once you are out there you will find plenty of players who cost more and don't play. The market has gone up."

Arsenal next face Bournemouth at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday and will have to do so without Cazorla, Hector Bellerin, Per Mertesacker, Danny Welbeck and Lucas Perez. 

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