Granit Xhaka: Arsene Wenger said I had to join Arsenal to 'enjoy football'

New Arsenal signing Granit Xhaka says the first thing Arsene Wenger ever told him was that he must join the Gunners if he wants to "enjoy football."

Xhaka, 23, became Arsenal's first signing of the summer when he joined from Borussia Monchengladbach in a deal worth a reported £30 million.

The Switzerland international had previously said Wenger first called him up last year about a possible move, and has now revealed more about that conversation in an interview with Sport Bild's print edition.

"It was madness, he's a legend for me," Xhaka said. "He suddenly is on the mobile and wants me. I will never forget his first sentence. He said: 'If you want to enjoy football, you have to join us. Here is the paradise.' He has an incredibly calm but convincing manner. It makes me proud to work under such a coach."

Xhaka's transfer followed weeks of negotiations between the two clubs, and the midfielder flew in to London to finalise the deal last month before joining up with the Switzerland squad ahead of Euro 2016.

"It was very important [to complete the deal before the tournament], I wanted it by all means," he said. "It could be very costly if you don't have a clear mind during a tournament. Then agents or clubs call you all the time, you are just distracted. I am just delighted that everything's sorted now."

Arsenal also tried to seal a deal for Leicester striker Jamie Vardy before he flew to France with England, but are still waiting for the player to make up his mind.

The only thing that did not go smoothly with Xhaka's move to Arsenal was the announcement of his new shirt number.

Xhaka wore No. 34 at previous clubs Basel and Gladbach, and has that number tattooed on his back, but it's occupied by Francis Coquelin at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal initially gave him No. 16, yet a few days later they announced that he would wear No. 29 instead at the player's request.

"My favourite No. 34 was already taken, so I've picked my year of birth, 92, and switched the numbers around," Xhaka said.