Sunderland have completed the signing of defender Arbenit Xhemajli. The 22-year-old Kosovan defender joins after successful trial with the Black Cats during pre-season. The deal was confirmed on the official Sunderland website.
Xhemajli played in a friendly against Gateshead recently where he played on the left side of a back three. However, the defender’s versatility across the defence is a major plus for manager Phil Parkinson.
Arbenit Xhemajli Completes Sunderland Move
✍️ Welcome to Wearside, Arby!#ARBYArrives
— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) September 4, 2020
Who is Arbenit Xhemajli?
Xhemajli is a Kosovo international and arrives at Sunderland having left Swiss Super League side Neuchâtel Xamax during the summer. He is a ball-playing defender who can play anywhere across the defence; however, he has primarily played as a sweeper or on the left side of a back three.
In a recent interview with the Chronicle, a Kosovan football expert gave his opinion on the 22-year-old:
“He is particularly good defensively at duels (ground/aerial), clearances and tackles. He covers his space to the maximum, regularly being fouled by opponents by preventing them from getting the ball, and he gets dribbled past very rarely. Also, a positive glimpse is that he kicks long balls to find his teammates on the other side of the pitch.”
Parkinson Wanted to Add Xhemajli as Soon as Possible
Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson speaking ahead of the defender putting pen to paper, said he was keen to bring in Xhemajli to strengthen his options: “It’s been well documented that we’ve been speaking to Arbenit Xhemajli and he’s a player we’d like to bring in for many reasons.”
“He’s young, has got good quality and play right across the back three or four. We’re close to bringing him in and that would be a boost for us, another young player who can strengthen us and add competition.”
New Signing Delighted to Have Completed Move
Speaking about his move to the Stadium of Light, Xhemajli said: “It feels great to get the deal done. I’m really happy to be here and I can’t wait to get started. I had some positive talks with the manager and from what I have seen, I believe we will have a successful season.”
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