Die Werkslef were in danger of relegation when Xabi Alonso was appointed Bayer Leverkusen’s new head coach in October of last year. Alonso’s club did, however, qualify for European football after a stunning turn around in performance, thus expectations were high going into this season.
Grimaldo, Jonas Hofmann, and Victor Boniface joining the BayArena during the summer transfer season proved that there was something to be excited about for those affiliated with the Werkself. Granit Xhaka, a former captain of Arsenal, on the other hand, gained attention.
The Swiss international, who caused controversy in London, was seen to be a crucial addition for Alonso’s favoured playing method. It was a choice that has now proven wise, as the Swiss international has contributed to Leverkusen’s quest for a potential championship challenge by playing some of his best football of his career. But Xhaka has a wealth of leadership and knowledge, which he minimized when he asked, “What exactly does boss mean?” in an interview with NZZ am Sonntag. The phrase is somewhat broad. I came to Leverkusen in search of a fresh challenge, not to be the boss. I believed that my time at Arsenal was coming to an end after spending seven years in London. I’m an experienced player here.
With regard to his choice to leave Arsenal and sign with Leverkusen, Xhaka remarked, “It was sometimes written that I was coming back to Germany because of my wife. This is not true. Like me, she was happy to be in London.
I made the choice entirely based on my prowess as an athlete and football player. I had a strategy and a goal when I joined a prestigious club in Germany. Of course, the fact that my wife and I had previously lived in Düsseldorf, a city adjacent to Mönchengladbach where she had grown up, made the adjustment simpler for us.
“Only if you can train and be there every day will you be able to see what it’s really like.”
But because we are aware of the team’s tremendous potential, we have high hopes. When asked about the distinction between representing Arsenal and Leverkusen, Xhaka responded, “If we keep working like this and keep our feet on the ground, we can achieve something.”
The 31-year-old Xhaka, on the other hand, is now totally focused on football and would describe playing under Alonso as being “extremely unpleasant” as opposed to playing against him.
Because of his slyness, ability to get past security, and timeliness, you never had to confront him. That’s what he’s telling us right now. I feel as though I’ve advanced in this regard throughout my two months in Leverkusen. He clarifies.
Alonso is making the most of his Leverkusen squad, and the Swiss midfielder has said that “at Leverkusen, the six position suits me perfectly,” thus Die Werkself may be in for a historic season. After matchday six, they are now in first place in the Bundesliga standings, and it doesn’t look like they will be moving anytime soon.