Arsenal finally earned their first three points of the campaign in the third game against Watford, after their first two games ended in disappointment.
The Gunners were dominant against the Hornets and they romped to a comfortable 3-1 victory, with Swiss midfielder gradually putting his own stamp on the team – leaving Arséne Wenger impressed.
The Arsenal boss was so excited about the performance of his £34m summer signing from Borussia Monchengladbach that he compared Xhaka to a former Arsenal hero. Xhaka showed, against Watford, that he has adapted to the rigours of the English Premier League, although his displays against Liverpool and Leicester were poor.
After their 3-1 victory, Wenger said of Xhaka: “He is a guy who plays naturally behind the ball. He is a bit similar to (Emmanuel) Petit with the way he plays football.
“He likes to sit, give good long balls and be available with the centre-backs.
“I believe he has a good mixture of short and long balls, in midfield it is important for us to sometimes stretch the opposition defenders.”
Wenger’s comments seem valid, as the Frenchman as the Arsenal midfield has lacked the steel and character of the likes of Petit and Patrick Vieira. Xhaka’s ability to distribute passes and assist the defence can help the Gunners’ title tilt this season.