Gunners legend makes bold claim about the Arsenal defence

Nigel Winterburn claims Arsenal don’t have to buy a new centre back because they already have one

Despite their obvious frailties at the back, Arsenal does not have to sign a new centre back this month to be ok, that is the opinion of Nigel Winterburn.

The Arsenal legend who was a member of the club’s title-winning sides in the 1990s claims that although the Gunners have struggled in defence this season, they do have a solution to that problem.

He claims that Granit Xhaka is a good option to fill in at the back when the club is short of defenders and he backed the Switzerland captain to replicate his defensive performance against Chelsea if called upon again.

Xhaka was drafted to the back against the Blues after Arsenal had David Luiz sent off inside 27 minutes.

Although the Gunners didn’t keep a clean sheet at the end of the day, Xhaka did well enough and Winterburn believes that he can do a job in that position again.

“I think it’s obvious that Arsenal do have a lot of problems particularly at centre-half,” Winterburn said per the Star.

“At the moment, everyone is trying to second-guess what Arsenal are going to do.

“Will they buy a centre-half? Will they go for a full-back? Or a holding midfield player?

“I’ve got to say, I thought Xhaka was outstanding when he went back to centre-half at Stamford Bridge, maybe there’s the option to play him there again and see how things go.

“But hopefully Sokratis will be back soon, Rob Holding too.

“There is a supply of centre-halves but getting them all fit and keeping them fit is the problem, because it stops you from settling on the best pairing.”

13 Comments

  1. NY_Gunner says:

    Makes a whole heap of sense… IJS

  2. gotanidea says:

    Sometimes Xhaka made bad decisions like Mustafi when defending, so it’s too risky to expect him to be a consistent CB

    Let him thrive in Arteta’s system by swiching his positions between left DM and left CB when required, where he can utilize his long passing ability

    A good lone CDM like Mascherano and Fernandinho can be converted into a CB, but Xhaka is not a good lone CDM

    1. Stewart Macintosh says:

      agree, one game does not a centre make, but he really did play well!

      1. What about his clampsy challenges?
        Lol xhaka defender? not for me

    2. NY_Gunner says:

      @gotanidea
      Even Mascherano was prone to flubbs when pushed to the back. Not sure about Fernadinho, never seen him play there.Who knows, Granit might thrive there, less running and dude is a decent defender in close quarters… IJS

    3. Ben Daniel says:

      you are right

  3. ThirdManJW says:

    Lets take our worst player over the last 4 years, and now let’s start playing him in a completely different position. Nigel has lost the plot! No Nigel, you’re meant to sell players that consistently underperform.

  4. Mogunna says:

    Thank u thirddman.

  5. Sue says:

    OT.. Wow, just wow… how the Mancs must be gutted at missing out on Haaland… another 2 goals tonight, in a 25 minute appearance. So, in 59 minutes he’s scored 5 goals! Incredible!

  6. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin says:

    Well, the general outlook at Arsenal as regards to the ongoing January transfer window new player signings is Arsenal are more likely to leave their January transfer kitty in the bank and will withdraw any money or some of it to sign any new players this January window. More so, as the club are yet to offload any Gunners who are currently in their first team squad as Mikel Arteta preference is to keep all the current first team squad Gunners intact until next summer when new player signings should be done to overhaul the squad in readiness for next season’s campaign for better performance especially in the Premier League campaign.

    But nevertheless, Arsenal could still make one or two surprise senior team signings on or before this January transfer window deadline day. But whether for what positions these likely or unlikely signings will be for in the team a defender, a midfielder or a forward is better left to Arteta to decide on it. Presently, I think Arsenal have all the players they need in all positions on the field of play to start any match and cover for any regular starters who when suspended or are sidelined with injuries. But what I think is missing or lacking in the current Gunners first teamers is the failings to get them to be performing optimally with consistency in every Arsenal match that they play to be winning matches most of the time claiming maximum points if not always but most of the time.

  7. Reggie says:

    One great half of football in 3 years, for me is not changing my mind. He was my MoM and i enjoyed giving him it because he deserved it but the guy is limited and he needs to string 8 or 10 games together like that half for me to be convinced and i am not putting a penny on it saying he will. What winterburn is saying is xhaka is a failure for us in midfield, give him a go at center back because at the moment we haven’t that much to lose. Not a ringer endorsement from him either but he isn’t a prem midfielder.

  8. Ndiema Michael says:

    Speak On The Pitch Says Arteta Arsenal Glory Back

  9. Ndiema Michael says:

    fellow gunners we in uganda we do support arteta and we strongly believe arsenal culture, discipline,invicibility, and playing style is back with arteta

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