Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka has enjoyed a standout campaign in the German Bundesliga this season, with the former Basle man showcasing his all-round abilities in the middle of the park that is sure to get him noticed by some elite European clubs. Dubbed the Swiss Bastian Schweinsteiger due to playing similarities, Bayern may be one of many teams who look to the Switzerland international to replace their ageing star.
Xhaka, 22, has been a regular in the Monchengladbach side throughout the campaign, making 29 league appearances, scoring two goals. He is more of a deep-lying player who protects the back-line, than somebody who will be creating chances in the final third. The youngster ensures the opposition are nullified, and when in possession he lays the ball onto more creative teammates.
His role in the side sounds simplified and understated, but it is arguably the most important in the Monchengladbach team. Averaging a tackle or interception every 20 minutes, the 22-year-old is fast becoming one of the best midfielders of his ilk in Europe, and this summer he is expected to be the subject of a lot of interest.
With former side Basel, Xhaka was used to winning titles and other domestic honours, so his initial period in Germany has been a struggle. He has since transformed himself into a key player in the team, and one the manager is desperate to hold on to. While Mochengladbach are enjoying a fantastic season, the lack of silverware and sheer distance from Bundesliga champions Bayern suggest Xhaka will never win anything with his current side.
There will not be a shortage of interest from clubs this summer, so he could be forced into making a big decision about his future. His asking price will have considerably risen from the €8.5M fee Monchengladbach paid to sign him back in 2012, which reflects his impressive development with the club.
AC Milan were linked in the winter transfer window, and Atletico Madrid and Manchester United are said to have thrown their hats into the ring recently too. Plenty of choices for the youngster, but the possibility of winning trophies is an important factor in his next move. His ability is not in question, and he does not want to waste the best years of his career without any additional silverware to show for it.