Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny 'top quality' says Arsene Wenger
By Dev Trehan
Last Updated: 16/09/16 2:16pm
Granit Xhaka has a huge part to play in Arsenal’s future, says manager Arsene Wenger.
Xhaka, a £35m summer signing from Borussia Monchengladbach, started Tuesday's 1-1 Champions League draw against Paris Saint Germain on the bench, appearing as a 71st minute substitute for Francis Coquelin.
Wenger has urged patience with the Swiss international midfielder, who is still getting used to the rigours of the Premier League, and has also praised midfielder Mohamed Elneny.
"Every week he [Xhaka] is stronger and better. I think he will play a big part," Wenger said ahead of his side's visit to Hull on Saturday.
"He has the stature, the power the strength. Many players it took some time to get into the team, it happens.
"Look, in one or two occasions [he struggled]. I think he has adapted quite well. His physical strength and power allows him to pretend to play straight away.
"I prefer him as a box-to-box player. He has the engine to have an impact with his runs. He is highly focused. Elneny as well, both of them are focused and top, top quality."
Wenger is unsure about the availability of Theo Walcott for the weekend visit to the KC Stadium and revealed Olivier Giroud sustained a toe injury before being sent off shortly after coming on against PSG.
"Walcott could be back in the squad. He will be assessed," Wenger said.
"[Aaron] Ramsey is still out. Gabriel is back in training. He might play on Tuesday.
"Olivier Giroud has a knock on Tuesday night, I have to check if he is alright. He has been a bit behind fitness-wise. He's slowly getting there."
Petrr Cech will return in goal for Arsenal after Wenger raised a few eyebrows by selecting David Ospina at the Parc des Princes in midweek.
"Cech will be back," Wenger confirmed.
"The decision [to play Ospina against PSG] was questioned. I can understand but I have two world-class goalkeepers.
"More and more clubs [alternate keepers]."
Wenger also threw his weight behind Hull caretaker boss Mike Phelan who has made no secret of his desire to become the club's manager on a permanent basis, after taking seven points from four games in charge.
"He is doing very well," Wenger added. "He has worked in big clubs and in big competitions. He's a real football man who has given some stability to Hull."