By ESPNSTAR.com staff
The 20-year-old had rather large shoes to fill as he was expected to take over from the superb Marco Reus. The current Borussia Dortmund star won the Bundesliga Footballer of the Year award for his sterling performances in a Gladbach shirt and therefore Xhaka's arrival was greeted with much fanfare and optimism.
However, the Swiss international has not had the best of starts to his Gladbach career as he has scored just one goal against Nuremberg back in September.
He was subsequently dropped from the starting XI after nine games and has featured intermittently for the Foals. A disagreement with goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen during a match against Fenerbahce in the Europa League coupled with some inflammatory statements criticising his team-mates' lack of ambition only worsened the situation.
But now, like many others, he holds the hope that the new year will allow him a chance to move over from that episode and prove his worth to the team's cause.
"Expectations of me were very high. Maybe that's why I put myself under a bit too much pressure at the beginning. I wanted to prove to everyone that it wasn't a mistake to bring me in," Xhaka confessed on the Bundesliga website.
"But when you want too much, you don't usually achieve much.
"My goal is to win back a place in the starting eleven. The pack is being reshuffled during our preparations.
"Everyone has the chance to prove himself here at the training camp and everyone wants to be in the first team, which is normal."
He also believes that the experience would bear him in good stead as it has taught him a number of lessons.
"When you experience something like that you need to get back on your feet and start from scratch. I see it all as an important learning curve, so it's not a negative thing," he continued.
"I know I've made mistakes and sometimes I've talked about things too openly or directly. That wasn't good and I've learned from that.
"However, I'd like to emphasise that I never said anything negative about Borussia or my team-mates.
"I respect every player and have stood up in front of the whole team and explained that I didn't mean certain statements in the way they were presented in the newspapers.
"That's why I don't want to look back on last year too much.
"It's 2013 now and it's like a new beginning for me."