Granit Xhaka is one liability Arsenal can do without

There are three things sure in life; death, taxes and Granit Xhaka suffering a rush of blood to the head. The Swiss international has divided opinion since joining Arsenal in the summer of 2016 and time is running out for him to prove he belongs at the elite level. It was even said that then Gunners’ boss, Arsene Wenger passed up the chance to sign French midfielder, N’Golo Kante as he felt Xhaka looked like a better fit for his Arsenal team. 

Three years on, their career paths have taken different trajectories as the diminutive Frenchman is now considered as one of the best players in the world while his Arsenal counterpart is seen as an also-ran. His performance in the North London derby proved that old spots are difficult to hide as his needless tackle on Son Heung-Min allowed Tottenham to go 2-0 up before a spirited fightback ensured a share of the spoils. Here are 3 reasons why Xhaka needs to be taken out of the team or even sold. 

He doesn’t seem to have a position

For so many years, Arsenal has struggled to replace the dynamic duo of Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva and it doesn’t seem Xhaka is the replacement for either one. He is not the box-to-box and tackling maestro that Vieira was while he doesn’t have boys and tactical discipline of the Brazilian.

His tackling is so rash but while his passing range is very good, his slowness on the ball means he struggles against teams that press high up the pitch. When he starts losing the ball, he starts making bad decisions, which ultimately cost the team. 

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He is not captain material

Not every captain is necessarily the best player in the team but a captain must lead by example, dropping inspirational performances every other game and not allowing his own standards to drop. Granit Xhaka does not inspire confidence in other players as they know that he’s an accident waiting to happen. For such a player to be the captain of such a great club, it’s unacceptable. The situation with Laurent Koscielny in the summer means 

The Gunners need a new skipper, though Emery hasn’t made a permanent choice yet. Captains lead their teammates even in the lowest of times, and for such an inconsistent player, it doesn’t speak well of the 13-time English champions to have him as the go-to guy on the pitch. 


He is impeding the development of other players 

Constantly playing Granit Xhaka week-in, week-out means that there is one player that is not being given a fair chance to show what he can do. Last time out, it was Real Madrid loaner, Dani Ceballos that missed out of the starting 11, but the Spaniard took the game by the scruff of the neck after he came on, dictating play and raising the tempo of the game with his direct running and exceptional dribbling skills.

The trident of Guendouzi, Ceballos, and Torreira may be young, but the trio represents the perfect midfield combination as their different skill sets mean that the Gunners finally boast a midfield that has a deep-lying playmaker in Guendouzi, a specialist defensive midfielder in Torreira and a marauding midfield playmaker in Ceballos. There seems to be no way for Xhaka.

About the author

Daniel Gibbs

I'm a Gooner who also brings a wealth of knowledge from European soccer and when I'm not busy with football I'm definitely talking football! My Favourite player is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and is hopeful Arteta will bring the glory days back to the Emirates.

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