He may have cost a reported £35 million but Arsene Wenger hasn’t seen that as a reason to start Granit Xhaka for Arsenal, with the midfield enforcer instead relegated to a position on a bench – where he’s had a great view of Francis Coquelin performing the role he was bought for.
The 23-year-old made it on to the pitch against Hull City though, and scored Arsenal’s fourth from an impossible distance, sending the ball rocketing into the top left with seemingly no effort at all.
It was the definition of top bins, and the Swiss celebrated in style.
Xhaka "keep talking" celebration https://t.co/fhPKcXVUQN— 〽️1Ö 🏁🇪🇷 (@MesutOzilClass) September 17, 2016
He wasn’t bought to score goals – that’s Lucas Perez’s burden – but Arsenal fans were delighted. They were angry he’d yet again been left out of the starting line-up, and he really showed them what they’d been missing once making it on to the pitch.
It was the moment fans had been waiting for.
I've wanted someone to score that Xhaka goal for 5 years— James (@JECook96) September 17, 2016
In fact, maybe this had been Wenger’s plan all along.
XHAKA WAS RESTED FOR THAT GOAL— Paddy (@VieiraPaddy) September 17, 2016
The now famous video of Xhaka being taught London slang by Alex Iwobi was put to good use.
But while it may have been Xhaka that scored the goal, Arsenal fans seemed unable to celebrate without bringing someone else into the conversation. Can you guess who?
Me after Xhaka's goal pic.twitter.com/G3HWFsGrOs— spooky szn bri (@Xhakaed) September 17, 2016
How dare u do that Granit Xhaka.....thats what an £89m player should be doing...do that again and I will ask u to DAB as punishment..😁😂😀— Olayinka (@ykgunnerz) September 17, 2016
Okay, we’ll be explicit.
Henderson, Gundogan and Xhaka all scoring goals for their clubs
Meanwhile Pobga... https://t.co/XBhM3rBq0Q— Aaron (@WAFCAaron) September 17, 2016
Perhaps now he’ll get a start when Chelsea travel to the Emirates next weekend.
After all, if he’s to become the player Gooners hope he will, he needs to get some more Premier League experience under his belt.
I'll put my neck on the line right now an say that within 2 years Xhaka will be our captain and as influential as Petit/Vieira were!— MR DT © (@MrDtAFC) September 17, 2016
As for Paul Pogba, the Manchester United midfielder’s performances weren’t up to scratch in the derby or in the Europa League, but hearing his name spoken so much will probably just add fuel to his fire.
It’s time to start living up to his adidas slogan though, “first never follows”…