Granit Xhaka has always been an enigma at Arsenal. Signed for £35m by Arsene Wenger in 2016, it has been an acquisition that has caused endless debates within the Gunners fan base.
On his day, he can ping a 35-yard diagonal pass and dictate the tempo beautifully. Those days, however, are few and far between.
That being said, the Swiss has done incredibly well to come back from where he was. Booed off the pitch before he cupped his ears to the crowd in 2019, it looked like his days at the Emirates were done and dusted.
He was stripped of the captaincy but Mikel Arteta sparked rejuvenation in the midfield player. He bounced back and became a key part of the Spaniard’s rebuild.
However, against Tottenham on Sunday evening, he showed exactly why so many Arsenal supporters dislike him.
In truth, it’s hard to see what Xhaka offers besides his passing, but even that has become negative in recent weeks. Instead of turning and being positive with the ball, he plays it back towards the defence. It’s infuriating to watch, especially when you see a number of players in his position throughout the Premier League being more incisive with their play.
Unfortunately, we saw the very worst of Xhaka this weekend. He managed to complete 92% of his passes but in all honesty, not very many were positive attempts at kicking the football.
He made four fouls and lost possession an eye-brow raising ten times. He struggled with the relentless pace in Tottenham’s attack and looked completely out of the picture on the counter. With that in mind, it was unsurprising that he failed to make a single interception.
Xhaka’s game has always been a simple one but after reviving himself in north London, he is now producing performances that made fans boo him in the first place.
Are we back at square one with Xhaka? It certainly feels like it.
Once Thomas Partey is fit and up to speed again, he simply has to play alongside Dani Ceballos. Xhaka needs to be dropped and reserved for the Europa League. He has now failed under three separate managers.
Arteta should be angry – the midfielder isn’t good enough.
In other news, one Arsenal player was EVEN WORSE than Xhaka on Sunday…