Granit Xhaka speaks out on Arsenal's decision to sign Thomas Partey

Granit Xhaka has welcomed the signing of Thomas Partey, even if though his arrival has intensified the competition for midfield places in Mikel Arteta’s starting XI.

Arteta had been desperate to strengthen his side’s engine room in the transfer window, but Arsenal waited until deadline day to activate the £45million release clause in Partey’s Atletico Madrid contract.

The 27-year-old is in contention to make his debut against Manchester City on Saturday evening, where he likely to line-up alongside Xhaka whose own Arsenal career has been resurrected by Arteta.

‘He played at the Emirates two years ago in the Europa League semi-final when we lost against them,’ the Switzerland international told Sky Sports.

‘He’s a great player if not then Arsenal don’t buy him it’s that simple. He has the quality to bring us one step forward he is very, very good in the duels, his passing is very good.

‘He played in Atetico Madrid a different type of football so he can help the team and I am more than happy we have a player like him and I am more than happy if we can play with each other and meet each other and start to learn each other a lot of things.’

Xhaka was on the verge of quitting Arsenal prior to Arteta’s appointment and closing in on a move to Hertha Berlin after he clashed with his own supporters during a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace almost exactly a year ago.

Arteta, however, convinced the 27-year-old to stay and the Spaniard’s faith has been rewarded with a series of commanding an influential displays.

‘Until this day the words he gave me was exactly what I wanted to hear and for me it was very important to show I will give everything for the club and the fans,’ said Xhaka on the influence of his manager.

‘Im sure we’re going to be back in the Champions League next season.

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