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Newcastle After Top Swiss Midfielder Granit Xhaka

1:27 pm, Thursday, December 31st, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 52 Comments

There’s a report today that Newcastle are after 23 year-old Swiss international midfielder Granit Xhaka who currently plays for Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany.


Granit Xhaka – 39 times capped Swiss International midfielder

Granit started his career at Basel back in 2002 and has played for all the Swiss Youth sides and he joined Borussia Monchengladbach in 2012 for around £6M and has since played 120 times with 9 goals.

He is reminiscent in playing style of a top German central midfielder currently at Manchester United and former Swiss national manager Ottmar Hitzfeld once called him the young Schweinsteiger.

Granit is of Kosovo Albanian parents who moved to Switzerland shortly before Granit was born and he has a younger brother Taulant Xhaka who also plays football and is still at Basel.

Interestingly Taulant has 10 full caps for Albania after playing for all the Swiss youth sides through U21 – much like his older brother did but Granit went on to play for the full Swiss side.

The 6’1″ midfielder would be a terrific singing for Newcastle, but of course there’s no saying if this report has any truth to it.

But it will take players of Xhaka’s class to ensure Newcastle remain a Premier League club at the end of this season.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Newcastle News · Recruitment · Scouting Network · Transfer News and Rumours · Transfer Target

52 responses so far ↓

  • 1 jayphoto // Dec 31, 2015 at 1:34 PM

    Xhaka? Potentially the best central midfielder of his style in the world in 2-3 seasons! Be 20m minimum… Maybe more? That’ll be a short phone call

  • 2 JamesToon // Dec 31, 2015 at 1:35 PM

    Would massively improve our midfield

  • 3 lesh // Dec 31, 2015 at 1:41 PM

    But as we’re shipping Willo and probably Elliott and Cisse out, what about the glaring lack of decent defenders and strikers?

    Oh, ah, but yes, right there’s a profit to be made.

    Regardless of the plusses and negatives, this’ll be another failure to get him over the line.

    Same old, same old

  • 4 MadisonToon // Dec 31, 2015 at 1:43 PM

    Steve is playing Football Manager now?!? Would be a great signing, but can’t imagine it working. I would give it a .01% chance and I’m being extremely kind.

    Hopefully there are signings that are well underway that we haven’t heard about. I don’t think we’ll get all that we want this window, but if we are going to get anyone in, I doubt we’ll have heard about it before it actually happens as we don’t seem to do too much actual work in the public’s eye.

  • 5 Average_Contents // Dec 31, 2015 at 1:43 PM

    Wishful thinking but….please please be right this ONE time soccer sauce, please.

    Haha. Now I’m awake ?

  • 6 jimiley // Dec 31, 2015 at 1:45 PM

    You say every signing is a terrific signing when we sign them. Your blog lives off alleged signings.

  • 7 JamesToon // Dec 31, 2015 at 1:48 PM


    i’m pretty sure soccer sauce called the mitrovic, wijnaldum and mbemba signings before they were reported by sky

  • 8 Jib // Dec 31, 2015 at 1:48 PM

    He signed a 4 year contract extension in February and when Arsenal and Liverpool were sniffing around earlier in the year he wasn’t interested even tho’ Korporal Klopp spoke to him.

  • 9 bladeuser // Dec 31, 2015 at 1:49 PM

    NUFC will buy a couple of cheap duffers who nobody else would touch but it doesn’t matter who we buy as SMAC is a deluded moron who with six games to go and still in the bottom three will still b talking bull and putting a spin on things I stick to what I have said from day one this defensive dinosaur will relegate Nufc
    SHEEP baaaaaaaaaah Out

  • 10 optimistic prime // Dec 31, 2015 at 1:54 PM

    I wish

  • 11 Tsunki // Dec 31, 2015 at 1:56 PM

    Did you know our Mike is also an accomplished comedian? For instance, our gran jefe, supremo, pie-eater-in-chief, the same man who courted Wonga before they were clipped to a more morally-acceptable level of usury, and who Unite (not Unison as some have said) maintain heads a slave-driving sweat shop to warehouse his tat, spoke to the Daily Mirror about his non-PR stunt decision to majestically raise workers wages by many pence to just the minimum wage (yay!) and what did he say?

    “We have a responsibility to set a high moral standard,”

    What a cracker! it’s the way you tell ’em, Mikey boy, it’s the way you tell ’em.

  • 12 RUNAWAY777 // Dec 31, 2015 at 1:57 PM

    Sunderland are already signing players ready for the window opening got the jump on us, nothing knew with this lot.

  • 13 Blackley and Brownlie // Dec 31, 2015 at 1:58 PM

    Hello. In 19 games our 4 strikers, Mitro, Perez, Cisse and De Jong have scored a total of 9 goals. Just think about that Mr Charnley and Mr Carr.

  • 14 colwell // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:01 PM

    Hahahahahaha if that one falls through sign Ronaldo instead, fcuking stories there’ll be a very short list of players wanting to come here that would actually improve us.

    We should have signings lined up ready to join Jan 1st not start to do business then. It probably won’t matter any way with Mac thinking we’ve been unlucky recently we are as good as down.

  • 15 Blackley and Brownlie // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:04 PM

    We live in a world where people can say what they like and get away with it. You need only say Mother Teresa performed miracles and so she performed miracles.

  • 16 Our Toon // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:05 PM

    In 9 games we’ve created the least amount of chances than any other club, on par with Villa. You can’t score if you can’t create….you can’t score if your only plan is to sit deep and try to absorb pressure.

    Like I said the other day, all the top scorers in the league need at least 5 clear chances before they score a goal. We create 2 a game if that sometimes!!

  • 17 Blackley and Brownlie // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:13 PM

    You get a natural goalscorer in and the midfield will quickly start to create chances.

  • 18 Wayayman // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:13 PM

    This lad is the real deal, a top level player. For hat reason alone there’s no way he’ll be coming to us. Another reason is that we couldn’t afford him – well, our billionaire owner couldn’t afford him what with only 50,000 turning up every week and his empire rising in profit daily.

    Oh and there’s also the small matter of his background. Not totally sure that Kosovan Albanians and Serbs get on that well. Cough. Imagine the X rated version of bowyer v dyer if both Xhaka and Mitro were on the same training pitch…

  • 19 manxpie // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:15 PM

    Tbf ourtoon some of our chances recently have been absolute sitters let alone clear chances and that’s just mitrovic lol
    as for this story we’d probably have to smash our transfer record to sign him especially in January

  • 20 Blackley and Brownlie // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:16 PM

    You only sit deep and sacrifice the rest of your game if your defence can’t defend #ColotheClown #KeystoneCops

  • 21 Jib // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:17 PM

    Paul Gascoignea was staying at a spa over the Christmas (Champneys Forest Mere in Liphook, Hants)
    Last Friday he was found in a pool of blood having fallen on broken glass and rushed to Hospital , the problem being that his body is so weakened by alchohol abuse that recuperation is difficult
    Dunno if anyone else is aware of this.

  • 22 Wayayman // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:17 PM

    By the way, if Macca played Gini in his proper position and not out in the left, we’d probably create more chances.
    If we have to have sissoko on the pitch, why not try him on the left where he won’t negate janmaats attacking prowess on the right. I’d even be tempted to try janmaat in RM and have mbabu at RB as janmaat is one of our most consistent attacking threats is sissoko doesn’t get in his way.

  • 23 Our Toon // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:18 PM


    We have 1 or 2 players in the opposition box weekly, you could bring in Lukaku, Vardy, Ighalo and they’d all fail to score anywhere near the goals they have for current clubs.

    All players need chances created for them, if you can’t create you can’t score. Cisse didn’t have a problem scoring 13 in 14 games when he had supply, he has none and can’t score anymore. As he needs more than 1 or 2 chances to score a goal!!

  • 24 geordie157 // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:19 PM

    Would be an excellent signing but very unlikely we’d go for him or get him.

    Tielemans surely we could steal though, don’t think we burnt any bridges with anderlecht and Ashley gets his chance at making big profit, would prob cost us a fair bit though.

  • 25 Mag52 // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:23 PM

    Ed, if you’re right on this one, I for one will forgive you all previous mentions of Carroll, Austin, and the rest.

  • 26 Our Toon // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:24 PM


    Liverpool missed some sitters yesterday including benteke, you aren’t guaranteed to score every sitter. Arnautavic missed 2 sitter at the weekend but had 6 chances in total.

    Harry Kane missed a sitter at the weekend but he got 5 other chances. If you score a goal with every 2 or 3 chances you get you’d be playing for Barca or Madrid not NUFC or in the EPL.

    Walcott had 4 chances against Bournemouth and missed them all, Giroud missed 3 including 1 sitter. Lukaku missed 3 one on ones against us, in total he missed 6 chances.

    When was the last time a NUFC player had that many chances to miss?

    I do agree we’ve missed some sitters though, SDJ and Mitro over 2 games but nothing v WBA

  • 27 Our Toon // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:25 PM

    This lad would be perfect for what we need but I can’t see it happening!! Would love to be proved wrong though!!

  • 28 Blackley and Brownlie // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:27 PM

    Something you learn in football is that a good pass is about the skill and intelligence of BOTH the player who passes the ball and the player who receives it. A natural goalscorer will get into the danger areas and open up an opportunity for the pass. A midfielder won’t take a chance unless the reward outweighs the risk, especially not these days when you’re heavily criticised for losing possession.

  • 29 Our Toon // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:28 PM

    The best example I can think of relevant to us is the citeh game, mitro missed 3 chances before he scored, then one was wrongly ruled offside. It’s no good walking off the pitch creating 1 very good chance and very little of anything else.

  • 30 Our Toon // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:31 PM


    It takes alot more than 2 players buddy, the movement of others is just as vital, pulling players away and creating the space for the “goalscorer” to finish a chance. If it was solely down to 2 players they’d never score.

    If you cross a ball and you have 4 defenders against 1 striker then you’ll almost never score.

  • 31 Our Toon // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:33 PM

    Playing 2 central holding midfielders also reduces the threat of creating chances. When your only plan is to nullify the opposition and wait in the hope of pinching a goal then you can sign the best goalscorers in the history of the game and still struggle!!

  • 32 Jib // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:34 PM

    Granit’s dad Ragip Xhaka is also his agent.

    In 2012 it was between Walter Mazzari and Lucien Favre who would get him from Basel
    Napoli lost and he went to BMG.

    Ragip has spoken to the Italian press and said he is talking some very big clubs – so that’s us out of it then 🙁

  • 33 Blackley and Brownlie // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:37 PM

    We have a Keystone Cops defence with a clown as the captain and keystone. We have no prolific striker. We have an unbalanced, mismatched bunch of midfield personnel. Last but not least, we have a manager who can’t organise or reorganise.

  • 34 Tsunki // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:39 PM

    Agree with Blackley there the communication and understanding has to be there. The glaring opposite of this is that thundering clod Dummett, no offence. I can almost time him retrieving the ball, to getting shut down, to the quick glance up as if he is trying to convince everyone including himself that he is picking someone out, before a punt up the line to their right back. Many thanks. We used to have Willo do that on the other side with the same 100% success rate, for the opponent that is. That’s just the disconnect of the midfield for you. The midfield meanwhile goes side to side like bar football. Then there’s the easily intercepted ‘threaded’ pass from the half way line to someone static on their area. The times when we have seen intelligent runs, and midfielders actually spotting them and playing to them in time, are memorable and few.

  • 35 Our Toon // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:42 PM


    I don’t disagree with what he says but signing a goalscorer won’t transform this team automatically, if we struggle now to create we aren’t magically going to do so with a goalscorer. That’s my opinion and Blackley is more than justified in his

  • 36 Mag52 // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:43 PM

    Our Toon.

    The last time a NUFC player had a number of chances( 4 ) would have to be v Norwich a few weeks ago when he scored 4. An exception to break most scoring rules.

  • 37 Jib // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:45 PM

    Eeh I like a good laugh at New Year 😀

    Dummett is no Ashley Cole in his pomp but that doesn’t make him a thundering clod.

    Tsunki your comments are so OTT that you leave folk wondering what your motives are !!

  • 38 Our Toon // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:45 PM


    Yes what a day that was mate

  • 39 Macas // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:51 PM

    Tsunki – The problem Dummett has is that Wijnaldum is supposed to be playing in front of him, but in reality when he gets the ball 90% of the time there is nobody down the line for him to pick out. I think a lot of full backs would struggle in that situation. When he had a decent winger in front of him he’s actually not that bad going forwards, but obviously he has his limitations.

  • 40 B1GSTEVE // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:52 PM

    Didnt we almost sign young schweinsteiger, when milner went (according to fatash), but he changed his mind??

  • 41 optimistic prime // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:56 PM

    For me the biggest problem in our side is CM for various reasons. I’d be more than happy if we only signed 2 players and they were Xhaka and Shelvey.
    (Never happen)

    If we sign a striker as has been mentioned it would be pointless as we don’t create. I wouldn’t be desperate for a CB either because with the CM we have sits to deep and invites pressure and inevitably the opposition will get through and score.

    I’d concentrate on CM and sort the other issues in the summer. We ain’t blessed with a good squad but with 2 decent CM I think we’d get to safety easier than other signings in ither positions.

    What I think will happen is SFA

  • 42 Novocastrian66 // Dec 31, 2015 at 2:57 PM

    We need to stop buying players with potential and start buying players with proven ability, otherwise we’re done for. Alternatively we really go for it and buy players with promise and players with a proven pedigree. There’s a novelty.

  • 43 geordie157 // Dec 31, 2015 at 3:11 PM

    Norwich seem to be showing some ambition, Matt Jarvis signed perm, Naismith likely to follow and now Ranocchia strongly linked.

  • 44 geordie157 // Dec 31, 2015 at 3:12 PM

    forgot to add I can see them being the side that go for Austin in this window.

  • 45 nut meg // Dec 31, 2015 at 3:17 PM

    As I remember it Keegan had lined the deal up along with the fee OF 3m. Ashley & his cronies decided to offer 2m & the deal was cancelled.Wheeler dealer barrow boys.

  • 46 cyprus // Dec 31, 2015 at 3:23 PM

    So Gini also feels we are playing alright, as does SMc. Like AP used to say, we played on the front foot, when we had like 27% possession…

    Speaking of possession, Steve, we are near the bottom of the EPL. You may point out that so too are Crystal Palace and Leicester, but our attack is not as sharp or ast as theirs.

    Which brings me to a point made by somebody earlier, a good one. He said everyone is concentrating on defensive deficiencies whereas the attack is our biggest problem. We do seem to be misfiring up front. Gini has been in and out in the last 3 games. He’s key. He’s crap, we lose. Perez has experienced a massive loss of form, can’t explain that one. Mitro just ain’t on fire, could come good but we need someone NOW.

    Key position to fill, if only one were to be filled: CF; fast, mobile, deadly, like Bellamy, a motivated Berahino.

  • 47 cyprus // Dec 31, 2015 at 3:24 PM

    OP, a striker who creates his own chances.

  • 48 cyprus // Dec 31, 2015 at 3:26 PM

    or ast = or as fast

  • 49 SUTTY1978 // Dec 31, 2015 at 3:33 PM

    We always struggle to score goals because we buy players based on their scoring records. Most of the players we have bought in recent years are far more productive in front of goal than they are creating them, thats fine if you have others to do that job but we don’t have a single player who has a decent record of providing assists.
    Who gave Mitro all his goals in the last couple of seasons? Perhaps we should buy that lad?

  • 50 hibbitt // Dec 31, 2015 at 3:41 PM

    lesh were you getting Elliott being sold from ?….. i think that would be a big mistake

  • 51 damma99 // Dec 31, 2015 at 3:55 PM

    Hope I am wrong. Have a feeling these muppets will think they don’t need to strengthen. Riviere on his way back.

  • 52 OneAlanShearer // Dec 31, 2015 at 4:43 PM

    Have soccer sauce EVER been right. They last said on 26th Dec that mourinho was signing for man utd in 2 or 3 days….err yeah ok. They guess at stuff from what I can see.

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