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Arsene Wenger hails ‘exceptional’ exit-bound Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka after Switzerland’s win over France


Xhaka was named man of the match (Picture: Getty Images)

Arsene Wenger has hailed Granit Xhaka for his man of the match display in Switzerland’s impressive Euro 2020 last-16 win over France.

The Swiss knocked out the tournament favourites via a penalty shootout following a 3-3 draw in normal time in Bucharest on Monday night.

Xhaka was imperious in midfield as Vladimir Petković’s side clawed their way back from 3-1 down, with substitute Mario Gavranovic scoring a last-gasp equaliser to take the enthralling match-up to extra time.

The midfielder steered the Swiss through to the quarters (Picture: Getty Images)

Swiss captain Xhaka gave a rousing speech to his team-mates on the pitch before the shootout, and netted his spot-kick expertly.

Kylian Mbappe had his penalty saved by Yann Sommer to send Switzlerand through to the quarter-finals, where they will play Spain.

Xhaka caught the eye of his former Arsenal manager Wenger for his superb performance and inspirational leadership.

‘He was exceptional, all his choices were good,’ Wenger told beIN Sports of Xhaka.

‘He was the one who rallied the troops before the penalties.’

Xhaka looks set to make a switch from Arsenal to Roma this summer once the two clubs agree a fee for the 28-year-old.

The Gunners have rebuffed a bid of €15m (£12.9m) as they hold out for an offer of nearer to €20m (£17.2m).

The midfielder was signed by Wenger from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016 and has been a regular in the side since then, but has dropped several hints that he has made up his mind to move to the Serie A club this summer.

When asked after Switzerland’s victory over France if he will be answering questions from the press in Italian in the near future, he laughed and replied: ‘Not yet… it is always interesting to learn a new language.

‘Let’s see, everyone knows what Roma represent.

‘Now I am an Arsenal player, I will speak after the tournament.’


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