Danny Murphy has told talkSPORT that Granit Xhaka would be a “hell of a player” in Liverpool’s team despite struggling at Arsenal.
The former Reds midfielder was talking to the radio programme about the 82-time Switzerland international.
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He said: “If Xhaka was in Liverpool’s side with [Jordan] Henderson and Fabinho he would look a hell of a player, because he is technically good, a good passer, has a great shot on him and he has the ability with his great left foot to open you up. But when you are playing in a team that is struggling a bit, he is a passenger defensively and a liability.
“It is a dilemma for Mikel Arteta because he has a squad that needs a bit of tinkering.”
At times, Xhaka does appear to be a scapegoat for all that is wrong at Arsenal. He cannot be solely blamed for the problems at the Emirates Stadium. After all, Arsenal are just 10th in the table and are nine points behind the top four – that cannot be the fault of one player.
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However, it is rather ludicrous to suggest that Xhaka would be a success at Anfield when he does very little in north London to give the indication that he would cut it at arguably the best team in the world right now. Murphy says he has a fantastic shot on him, for example, but he has just 11 goals in 152 games for the Gunners.
Indeed, he is a liability defensively. He has picked up 10 yellow cards in two of his three league seasons with the club, whilst he has also picked up two red cards. He has also committed seven errors that have led directly to goals during his time with Arsenal – only three outfield players in Premier League history have more than that, at least since the start of recorded data.
Liverpool may be in irresistible form at the moment – that have won 19 of their 20 games in the top tier this term – but that is as much down to their defensive ability as their attacking play – they have conceded the least goals and have scored the second-most. They cannot afford to have “passengers” in the side, no matter who is playing alongside him. Jurgen Klopp may be a genius, but even he would struggle to turn the former Borussia Monchengladbach man into a top-quality player.