Granit Xhaka has been in the news for over a week with links to Arsenal and even an agreement already in place. There is nothing official yet but the imagination has begun. Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini are set to leave Arsenal at the end of the season and it is expected that Wenger will fortify that department. The Swiss midfielder has been a shinning light for Borussia Mönchengladbach.

The first time i saw the name “Xhaka”, my memories ran through one of the books i read growing up: Shaka The Zulu. The legendary Zulu monarch was a great conqueror. Shaka was unique in Zulu history, had his ups and downs but remains a legend in Zulu kingdom.

He is Shaka the unshakeable,
Thunderer-while-sitting, son of Menzi
He is the bird that preys on other birds,
The battle-axe that excels over other battle-axes in sharpness,
He is the long-strided pursuer, son of Ndaba,
Who pursued the sun and the moon.
He is the great hubbub like the rocks of Nkandla
Where elephants take shelter
When the heavens frown…

Traditional Zulu praise song, English translation by Ezekiel Mphahlele

Will Xhaka be a legend at Arsenal? That is too forward of me.

League football returns this weekend to Europe and Arsenal will host Watford – the team that squashed Arsenal’s dream of getting a third consecutive FA Cup trophy. No one seems hurt from the international break, at least until Wenger gives his pre-match conference today. Cech is expected to return for my FPL sake seeing that Ospina was reported injured few days ago. Can Arsenal continue to hope for the Premier League? Liverpool takes on Tottenham while Leicester City will host Southampton.

The dust around Nigeria’s ouster from the 2017 AFCON Qualifiers is beginning to settle. Some have requested for the head of the NFF President on a platter. Others have had a go at the system. Another section have beckoned Nigerians to look towards the NPFL for salvation, others have asked for the team to be built around young bloods like Iwobi and Iheanacho. Amaju Pinnick, the NFF President, has said he will not resign. He has rather joined the bandwagon of those clamouring for a foreign coach. This was a man that believed in Sunday Oliseh so much that he said no to any foreigner. This tea is sweet.

There will be no league match in the NPFL this weekend. The 36 states of the federation will have their FA Cup finals. I need to know more about the FA / Federation Cup format. Too many hidden formats that needs to be uncovered. In Lagos, Ikorodu United were knocked out of the Lagos FA Cup by a non-league side – Gbagada FC. The game ended in a draw and headed to penalties where the relegation threatened Ikorodu United lost by 4-2.

The El Classico will be the toast of the weekend. It is another Messi vs Ronaldo weekend.

You must have heard of Emmanuel Eboue in recent days. Will he get his agent paid in order to be re-admitted to Sunderland? FIFA’s hammer looms.

Enjoy the new month.