Former Arsenal man Kieran Gibbs believes the current Gunners team is missing Granit Xhaka, who left them in the summer for Bayer Leverkusen.
Last season was Xhaka’s best in an Arsenal shirt as he nearly led them to win the Premier League, but he left the club for a new challenge at Leverkusen in the last transfer window.
The Gunners signed Kai Havertz to replace the Swiss captain, but the German is struggling and Arsenal has failed to fill the void he left behind.
After watching them lose their unbeaten run to Newcastle United, Gibbs believes Mikel Arteta’s side is missing their former midfield leader.
He said, as quoted by Talk Sport:
“I think the absence of Xhaka actually.
“He probably had his best season last season, let’s be honest, after a long spell at the club.
“I don’t think he was underrated last season. I just think he was appreciated more for what he was doing. He calmed down his antics with his fouls and stuff. He just cleaned up a lot of his game. I felt he was a really good link.
“He gave that balance, especially when [Oleksandr] Zinchenko came in last season and started to play inverted, it gave Xhaka a bit of a different role. I do think it is having a bigger effect on the team than most people think.”
Just Arsenal Opinion
Xhaka was an important player for us last season and the Swiss star is a big miss in the current team.
Havertz’s failure to impress could eventually cost us the title, as he was signed to fill an important role.
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