In what Arsenal fans are hoping will be the first signing in a busy summer transfer market, Granit Xhaka has revealed the smooth lines employed by a silver-tongued Arsene Wenger to convince him to join the Gunners.
The 23-year-old sealed his big-money move from Borussia Moenchengladbach to the Emirates last month, admitting it took little persuasion for him to join Arsenal, though Wenger’s assurances certainly seemed to sweeten the deal. The Swiss midfielder was outspoken in his admiration for his new manager:
“It was madness, he’s a legend for me and suddenly he is on the mobile and says he wants me.”
But it was Wenger’s opening chat-up line that really made Xhaka weak at the knees – Wenger’s got game… apparently:
“I will never forget his first sentence. He said: ‘If you want to enjoy football, you have to join us. Here is the paradise.’”
“He has an incredibly calm but convincing manner. It makes me proud to work under such a coach.”
Xhaka was clearly swept off his feet by the suave Frenchman’s promise of paradise, stressing his perceived importance at completing his move to Arsenal before heading to France with the Swiss national side for EURO 2016.
“It was very important [to complete the deal before the tournament], I wanted it by all means,” said the midfielder.
“It could be very costly if you don’t have a clear mind during a tournament. Then agents or clubs call you all the time, you are just distracted. I am just delighted that everything’s sorted now.”
Something has clearly gone awry with Wenger’s chat-up game in the past week however, the Gunners boss failed to sweet-talk Jamie Vardy into committing his future to Arsenal before the tournament. Perhaps the ‘paradise’ line wasn’t as effective for a striker who’s just won the league and has pizza on tap.
Wenger is establishing quite the reputation for enchanting stars with a delicate turn of phrase… after Xhaka’s admission, we can only speculate how many times he’s used that particular chat-up gem!