How do you rate Xhaka’s first season – A future Arsenal leader? Or a hothead?

It is no secret that the change in system at the latter part of the season breathed new life into Arsenal’s Champions League push. Now although the team fell a bit short in that regard, it ensured that the team finished the season on a high note, with Arsenal having an FA Cup final to look forward to. The new system also brought the best out of a handful of players like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Nacho Monreal and Mesut Ozil. But one player who has stood out in the new system is Granit Xhaka.

Since signing from Borrusia Monchengladbach last summer, the Swiss midfielder did not have the best start to his Arsenal career. Problems with discipline and consistency plagued the player when he started out at the Emirates, but there is no denying that Granit Xhaka has been top-notch since Arsene Wenger introduced the new system and has established a solid partnership with Aaron Ramsey in the heart of Arsenal’s midfield.

Under the new system, Granit is the pivot of the team. While he may not be an out-and-out defensive midfielder, the 23-year-old has the ability to sit deep and break down opposition attacks and keep the ball moving in midfield. In addition, the player is also capable of playing inch-perfect long balls and can also play defence-splitting passes. Needless to mention, he is not afraid of having a swing from distance either.

But the one aspect of his game that has impressed me the most is his leadership. Xhaka is a player who communicates with his teammates and does not hesitate to bark instructions or express frustration. Also, his passion is evident for all to see and although it affects his discipline at times, I believe he has improved on that regard and will learn with more experience. Personally, I believe that Xhaka has been a breath of fresh air in terms of what he brings to the Gunners midfield – creativity, tenacity, leadership and steel.

So with that being said, I think Granit has had a good first season at the Emirates. The fans have really taken him to heart and the player himself looks like he is enjoying his football. While it may be too early to make comparisons with great Arsenal midfielders of the past, the former Monchengladbach man certainly has the potential to rise to the same level. Here’s hoping that Granit Xhaka lives up to that potential amidst Arsenal’s quest to get back in the title picture.



  1. Arsenal FC says:


    1. Meetoopee says:

      Picking between Average and Leader.” I’ve got to go with “Leader!” He’s a great player. Give him time.

  2. Robert Newton says:

    Yes Xhaka has started to perform in the past 2 months after struggling in the first few months. We need to sign someone like Naby Keita or Jean Michael Seri who can pass, defend and have energy. Coquelin is not a good passer at all and Cazorla has had injury problems and is getting old.
    Ramsey and Wilshere are not good enough as first choice players.

  3. Vlad says:

    Good, but not great player, IMHO. Hard to judge him only by one season, but again, in my personal humble opinion, he was not worth the money that we paid for him. Easy comparison, just look at what Kante, and Wanyama did for their clubs.

    1. Josh37 says:

      Premier league ready… Look at Son and Herrera’s massive impact for their respective clubs. Some players take a while to adjust to the Prem.

      1. RAA1395 says:

        I don’t understand arsenal fans who write here sometimes……so….give him time to adapt?
        OK…let me make myself clear: the player that needs time to adapt is exactly the kind that we do not need in arsenal. Especially if he costs millions of pounds…..
        This mentality is exactly similar to arsene’s (who is asked to leave by the same fans).
        I’m not against xhakha and I’m not going to say things about his performance that may get his fans angry….I will just say that I’m sure he can do better somewhere else….let’s sell him as long as others remember his performance in his previous German club.

  4. Robert Newton says:

    It’s good to see players like Holding and Xhaka perform in the past 2 months.
    Hopefully Mustafi, Kolasinac and other new signings adapt soon and we challenge for title.

  5. Muffdiver wants change...not for arsenal...for.the vending machine, I'm thirsty as f### says:

    Congrats to man u

    There back now


    1. Quantic Dream says:

      Lol…quite shocked to hear they have won 3 trophies this season…com shield, league cup and now europa. Even when they are rubbish they are still winning trophies. Our manager on the other hand is busy chasing his fourth place trophy.

      1. HA559 says:

        Same thing will happen to them even if they spend big again finishing outside top 4. I don’t think either Manchester club will win EPL next year either.

        1. khangunners says:

          Mou is a good manager. And am sure next year they wil be stronger. Finally they hve champions league to attract players so why you saying they can’t challenge for pl? What am sure though is us next year our target will be top four!!

      2. Josh37 says:

        Yes… Because we definitely should’ve prioritised the prestigious Carling Cup over the league, F.A Cup and Champs league KO’s…

  6. Fatboy Gooney, Too Fat to track back. says:

    Xhaka finished the season the same as he started it, yet in between he had the Wenger effect. Eg Don’t shoot, blah blah blah ?

    1. Josh37 says:

      I’d argue much better.. playing deeper he looks a lot more at home. He still has a couple of pops from deep each game..

  7. John Ibrahim says:

    The big 5 city, chelsea, utd, spud and liverfool are in champ league

    This is so humilating

    1. HA559 says:

      It would be wouldn’t it. Hopefully these teams play the big guns in UCL and they too get heavy defeats. It would atleast be nice looking in from the outside of UCL for once. Remember apart from CHelsea all the others will be in pot 2. Obviously some will get lucky and be in Benfica group or Spartak Moscow.

      However Liverpool might have a complication if they draw unseeded Hoffenheim in qualifier. This is a dangerous team.

      1. khangunners says:

        I wish all this teams the best in ucl next year. Remember we are all premier league and teams from our league must perform so that the league maintains its power. Lately all English teams hve fared badly in ucl coz there quality is miles behind likes of real,barca,bayern. Hehe and it is never gonna be fan watching other teams in ucl never!

  8. Break-on-through says:

    If we’re talking about excelling, I think at times his passing he has delivered extremely well. I expected allot more from him if we’re being honest. Tackling, he is our deepest positioned central midfielder so I don’t buy distribution as his main responsibility. A player in that position must be relied on defensively speaking. His tackling is bad, worse than I ever imagined. He can’t really intercept either unless it’s a wayward ball landing directly at him. When we are set up well with our team shape, it’s not really a problem and he can be a difficult obstacle to overcome. Arsenal being Arsenal though, we’re going to be open allot of the time with him being the last midfielder.

    I really hope Arsene intends on finding another player to play next to him, partnerships are the making of players in this position. Coquelin, no. Ramsey, only when we are big favorites and at home, but no we need a step in up in class. Cazorla, we can’t really tell yet and he’s not reliable so no, we need another. Elneny is not in the running neither is Jack. We’ve been lacking in this area for most of season, Xhaka’s first season so it’s on Arsene this one not the players. We definitely need another. Having said this I can’t then say it’s been a good season for Xhaka. Some people are just determined to highly rate the man. Next season we should know allot more but it will depend on how stubborn Arsene is feeling.

  9. RSH says:

    Very few standout games, lots of reds. Not all his fault because this was a very unstable environment to come into, but not a great first season, but can possibly redeem himself in the future.

  10. ArseOverTit says:

    Man Utd win a European trophy. Maurenho has won three
    Trophies in his 1st season and gained them champions league entry.

    They will strengthen with big players coming in the transfer and will be stronger for it.

    Why? They sign a top manager who has a record of success, they sign big players and are backed by their owners in order to deliver success on the pitch.

    Stan wants 4th place and more ranches and more cows. The emirates will be full of them soon if we are not careful.

    1. HA559 says:

      Don’t worry, there is no top 4 to hide behind anymore for Wenger. The man himself this season there is no excuse for not winning the title ( he said this early Decemeber or late November).

      Wenger created a reason though which he is using now and that is the uncertainty of if he was staying or not.

  11. Bob2 says:

    Xhaka has not performed well all season. Too slow for defensive cover and too slow to play a pressing game.. Do you all want five years of a mertesacket and arteta situation… Liabilities… Just like Xhaka.. Thing will look OK until we play someone decent, that’s what happens with Wenger.. Build up expectation then shot down… Xhaka is not the answer people. Wise up!!!!

  12. Joseph says:

    Not good enough leading Arsenal line

  13. HA559 says:

    If you put a proper DMF next to or behind him he would be better. One thing he really needs to improve on is awareness of opposition around him. when he is looking for a top quality long ball, sometimes opposition just come back from around the sides or the back and tackle him.

  14. HA559 says:

    Arsenal the only big team in EPL not to be in UCL. Thats the first time only one big team missed out from EPL.

  15. HA559 says:

    UCL 17/18 looks good for next season. There are many big teams in it. If Real don’t win UCL, Barcelona could be in pot 2 lol. Even in pot 3 you will have dangerous teams. Lets not forget Leipzig and Hoffenheim they could be dangerous pot 4 teams to avoid.

    Looking very competitive.

  16. Ronny says:

    He’s calmed late on slightly and looks like he belongs now. Excited to see him kick on next year.

    Ot wish I’d not looked at twitter tonight bloomin mu fans!! With the efl and we said so what, and then laughed as they had to play Europe League.
    Win EL and get CL and we don’t ouch that hurts.

    # feel for Manchester but can’t stand MU fc

  17. Twig says:

    A 1-nil victory over Chelsea courtesy of a thunderous Granit Xhaka strike would be nice 🙂

  18. Auwalspeaker says:

    Next Gunners Captain. Granit Xhaka

  19. John says:

    Positive addition to the team……still developing …….good asset now……great soon…….learned quickly to play for the team…..and strategy…..rather than please the crowd……..not scared to risk losing the ball with some brilliant passes…learned pretty quick that the first tackle does not always win the ball…….

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