Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka produced a shocking display during Switzerland’s 1-0 defeat against Denmark in Copenhagen during their Euro 2020 qualifier on Saturday.
Since joining Arsenal in a £35m deal from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016, Granit Xhaka has established himself as a marmite player among supporters. Some like him, others aren’t his biggest fan. With no goals and no assists in the Premier League so far this season, Xhaka looks to be in a dip of form once again.
According to SofaScore, he failed to win any aerial duels or tackles during the 90 minutes. Having accumulated a passing accuracy of 87% with 51 completed passes, he was simply not offensive enough and the Danish backline was not troubled by his creativity. The two crosses that he put in failed to find their respective targets.
Xhaka was playing in a lackadaisical manner as he only won two out of his five ground duels and gave possession away 11 times during the 90 minutes. Despite not being dribbled past for the duration of the game, his presence in midfield and the four-man defence behind him failed to stop Denmark’s Yussuf Poulsen from scoring the only goal of the match.
Having cut out just one pass throughout the match in Copenhagen, this encapsulates an overall poor performance from the Arsenal skipper that fans will be hoping he can shake off before their next Premier League game against Sheffield United.
Emery may have potentially made a mistake in naming Granit Xhaka as captain. The likes of Ian Wright have publicly called the Spaniard out and accused of being “too weak”. The Arsenal legend added that Matteo Guendouzi and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were more suited candidates for the role, per the Metro.
This followed from the Swiss-born midfielder being jeered off during Arsenal’s 3-2 win against Aston Villa earlier in the season, where he failed to win any aerial duels and was dribbled past two times during the game. This adds to Wright’s argument that the manager made a critical error that could come back to haunt him.
The two sides of Xhaka’s footballing personality was on full show on Saturday as the experienced midfielder illustrated the calamitous side to his game. With the Switzerland international facing his critics head on after performances for Arsenal, leadership responsibilities are on his shoulders as the team’s skipper as the club expects Champions League football to return next season.