‘People don’t speak like I’m used to!’

Granit Xhaka says his first impressions of life in England have been “superb” - although understanding some of the slang has proven more difficult than expected.

The Switzerland midfielder has quickly settled into his new surroundings since joining from Borussia Monchengladbach in July but, despite understanding English, he is still getting to grips with some aspects of north London lingo.

“It has been a quick first month, one that passed very quickly and one in which I saw lots of nice things,” Xhaka told Arsenal Player. “We were in the US, in Norway and Sweden, so my first impressions are superb. I imagined it to be exactly like that. I am very happy to have taken this step to come here.

“I am not the kind of guy who speaks English perfectly, but I can talk to people well enough,” he added. “Interviews are the only little problem. But I go to language school once a week and learn some English there to help me with interviews and also with my personal life.

“What I can tell is that people here speak very differently to what we learned in school! Still, I don't have too much trouble understanding people but I have difficulty answering in English.

“Many players have offered me help in case I need something. They told me to be open and frank, and I have been very well received. It is very important for me to feel that the players are on my side.

“Maybe about one or two days before I flew here, I had a chat with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. He told me that if I needed something, I should just shout. But he was not the only one.”


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