Could Xhaka and Lokonga be the new midfield partnership? (Opinion)

Granit Xhaka is currently sidelined with injury, while Albert Sambi Lokonga impresses in his place, but could that mean that Thomas Partey is at risk of dropping to the Arsenal bench?

The Gunners have been in top form in recent months, overturning our dreadful start of the season to become contenders for the top four.

This run of form has mostly come in the absence of Xhaka however, with the Swiss international having played just 82 minutes of our win over Tottenham, as well as playing in our three losses at the beginning of the term.

Lokonga put in a Man of the Match performance in our most recent win over Newcastle as he continues to impress since joining in the summer, while question marks remain over Thomas Partey’s ability to stay fit, as well as find the level of consistency we would have liked.

The Express seems to believe that Arteta’s preference for Granit Xhaka will see him walk straight back into the team when fit, but I believe there is too much football left to play to decide the pecking order.

While I admit the Belgian’s performance at the weekend was thoroughly impressive, I don’t actually believe he is yet to do enough to be considered ahead of either Xhaka or Partey in the pecking order.

Do you believe Xhaka will walk straight back into the team? Where does Lokonga fit in the pecking order?

Patrick

Tags Albert Sambi Lokonga Granit Xhaka Thomas Partey

23 Comments

  1. NY_Gunner says:

    AMN and Tavares…IJS

  2. Atangana says:

    Move Tavares uo to midfield in a 433 and bring in K Tierney. He’s too good to sit on the bench. Take out Odegaard. Bring in Martinelli for Aubayeng

  3. Dan kit says:

    Nope….

  4. jon fox says:

    Anyone but Xhaka for me!

    I like Partey and Lokonga but would also consider the terrifically speedy and mobile Tavares.

    XHAKA IS HIS POLAR OPPOSITE, WHICH IS WHY I WANT HIM NEVER TO PLAY FOR US EVER AGAIN.

    1. Durand says:

      Interesting comment regarding Tavares Jon.

      I have seen several other people post about having a midfield 3 of Partey, Lokonga, and Tavares.

      His engine surely suits the role, as well as his willingness to get forward and get back to cover.

      Very interesting to see him play in that role, and it could fix our ailing midfield.

  5. AustinLorenzMcCoy says:

    Fabian Ruiz for me

    What we need this winter transfer to supplement our midfield quality wise and has experience to be a leader in the middle of the park

    Kulusevski and Isak upfront

    Why summer we get
    Boga on free
    Mazraoui free

  6. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

    Absolutely NOT!!! I’m not sure why you think it was such a feather in your cap Patrick that you predicted that Xhaka would remain at the club…it’s like congratulating yourself for predicting that someone would kick you in the nuts, then they did and you actually bragged about your painful prophecy

    1. Gunnerdev says:

      🤣top comment

  7. Grandad says:

    I find it difficult to comprehend why exactly Xhaka was favoured by Wenger, Emery and now Arteta.As far as I am concerned, his weaknesses far outweigh his strengths which I find difficult to define.The fact that he is left footed in itself, makes him a scarse commodity in midfield but surely that is not sufficient to make him a first team pick.?

  8. James Okereke says:

    A lot of dead football brains commenting how Xhaka is not good enough yet professionals who get paid thousands of pounds every week with all the data and stats available to them say Xhaka is a marvellous player to have in a team.. 😆 it’s for me to funniest expression of stupidity often put forward as opinions.. your opinion sucks if you don’t have a job in that business that means you are not good enough.. and if you are not good enough to run a Sunday league team I have nothing to say about your wrong opinions but carry on Lol.. and oh Xhaka will walk back into that the second he is fit.. MA I am certain will be keen to have him back.. get over your feelings girls!!

    1. durand says:

      Since Xhaka joined the club has fallen out of CL and even Europa league.

      He is not solely responsible, of course not, but he is a reason why. All his yellow cards, red cards, and errors leading to goals, all ranking high in the league. I apologize if I am wrong, but I don’t think so.

      Also, with him in the midfield our transition to attack is much slower, almost at a crawl at times. He rarely scores or assists, and has shown he is too slow to be a reliable DM for the club.

      IF he was so vital to the club, then how were they able to climb up to fifth, with a young Sambi filling in the midfield?

      Xhaka has leadership qualities, enough of our own players have commented on that. However, he does not bring the goals, assists, creativity that we need in midfield.

      This is my opinion on Xhaka in the midfield, and compared to a Carzola, or even a Ramsey or Jack W, he simply has not produced enough to walk into the lineup on his return.

    2. Mrcool says:

      Only a dumb ass manager will bring back xhaka straight to the starting line up.

      The reason why we are fifth and without any red card so far is because the almighty xhaka is not in the team.

    3. Declan says:

      Oh James you sexist little tw*t, so other fans opinions suck and don’t mean diddly squat but yours does for some reason!
      Deluded fool.

      1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

        top notch response Declan…that’s why he’s a J.Oke

        1. Declan says:

          Thanks TRVL4E but your J.Oke line is really top notch !!

        2. James Okereke says:

          The real whatever I don’t know how to spell your name.. I don’t know what a J.Oke means I might be offended if I did maybe but I really don’t fella

          1. Bob says:

            Tells everyone they’re dumb but can’t figure out the J.Oke 😂

      2. James Okereke says:

        I didn’t say it was my opinion Declan.. I said it was that of professionals in the business 😆 I am one step ahead of you mate.

  9. Reggie says:

    The “Express” not to be confused with Daily Express are a spurious set up and write garbage. Xhaka is definitely not a “favourite” of Arteta and he definitely won’t be in ahead of Partey at all. When Partey departs the AFCON i think the midfield will be AMN and Lakonga. Xhaka when fit again wont be back in the team, IF he is with Odergaard, expect a drop in results.

  10. Grandad says:

    So are you suggesting that everyone who has made a career outwith football is a fool James?

    1. James Okereke says:

      No sir I am suggesting anyone who is not a top professional in the career of football has little or no argument compared to people who rule that world. That is what I am suggesting.

  11. gunnerforlife says:

    No chance in the world Xhaka is starting ahead of TP and ASL, unless Arteta has gone bonkers. I would prefer Elneny over Xhaka, atleast he is better defensively and makes less errors. We have AMN, Tavares and if required Ben White in the midfield roles to partner ASL, when TP goes to AFCON.

  12. Bob says:

    He probably will, and we’ll be worse for it.

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