Arsenal midfielder Xhaka aiming to emulate Xavi and Zidane

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The Switzerland international acknowledges that he needs to add the best attributes of Barcelona and Real Madrid legends to his own game

Granit Xhaka admits he is looking to model his game at Arsenal on that of Barcelona and Real Madrid legends Xavi and Zinedine Zidane.

At the age of 24, the Switzerland international is aware that he remains far from the finished article.

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That fact has been highlighted at times throughout his debut season in English football at Emirates Stadium.

Disciplinary issues have caused him the biggest problem, but Xhaka acknowledges that he also needs to work on his technical ability.

“As a midfield player we have a very important role,” he told Pro Direct.

HD Granit Xhaka Arsenal

“The first touch is extremely important. With it you can open up the game, you can exclude two or three players with that first touch by getting distance from them so you can continue with your game.

“A good example is Xavi. Though he is not the fastest his first touch is like no other player just like [Zinedine] Zidane. That’s why for us midfield players the first touch is extremely important.”

Xhaka has made 39 appearances for club and country this season.

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He has netted three goals in those outings, but has also collected three red cards.

Arsenal paid Borussia Monchengladbach around £30 million for his services in the summer of 2016, making him the third most expensive signing in the club’s history.

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