Granit Xhaka was considered a masterful signing for Arsenal at the start of the season, after the boss spent £35 million on a big time midfielder who was expected to bring a breath of fresh air to our midfield. It would be fair to say that his time in London so far hasn’t excelled as expected so far, but there’s still plenty of time for improvement. However this week has been a awful time for Granit Xhaka, after the midfielder received three heavy hits to his Arsenal career so far.
First he received a red card from referee Jon Moss at the weekend, after a needless clumsy tackle against Burnley. The midfielder wasn’t happy with the decision and seemed to be quite baffled on the pitch. However to make matters worse, Xhaka is then alleged to have made offensive comments towards an individual at Heathrow, which resulted in a police caution and interview. This however remains unconfirmed. Finally Xhaka has also found himself at the hands of the boss, Arsene Wenger, with Le Prof keen to iron out any issues with the midfielders current behaviour.
Arsene Wenger revealed that he has advised Xhaka to stay on his feet more often, with the Swiss international often come out worse for wear. Wenger said: ‘I think he’s not naturally a great tackler. In his decision making I think he is quite intelligent on the pitch. But it’s more the way he tackles that is not really convincing. He doesn’t master well the technique. I would encourage him not to tackle, to stay on his feet. Tackling is a technique that you learn at a young age.’
Xhaka has totalled 9 red cards since 2014 now, for both club and country. In just 19 games for Arsenal, Xhaka has attained two yellows and two reds, whilst also committing 24 fouls. Xhaka also found himself on the receiving end of a red card whilst on international duty with Switzerland; whilst he also attained 29 yellows and 5 reds during his time in Germany with Borussia Monchengladbach.
Xhaka has a lot of qualities, his long range passing and powerful shots are second to none. However tackling is not a skill he has mastered and in the Premier League, he is finding the tricky touches and fast pace of the game quite tough when it comes down to whether or not to make the challenge!
It’s valuable advice from Arsene Wenger, but is it something Xhaka will stick to?