Is Xhaka now the first name on the Arsenal team sheet?

Arsenal fans have been calling for Arsene Wenger to buy a beast of a defensive midfielder for many, many years, and it looked like we had found one by chance when Wenger recalled Francis Coquelin was recalled from a loan period at Charlton in 2014. The Frenchman quickly made his mark and looked like a quality addition to the team, but after a 3-month lay off last season he hasn’t looked like a certain starter any more and Wenger started experimenting with other players in the DM role.

The arrivals of Mohamed Elneny and Granit Xhaka provided extra competition, and even Aaron Ramsey was given a run in the centre. Elneny has run hot and cold and is maybe more attacking than Xhaka, but after an undisciplined start to his Arsenal career, Xhaka seems to have grown into the role and has been even more influential since the Gunners changed formation.

The player himself feels that he has now settled into his new club and country, and described himself like this. “I play in an aggressive style and I think I am suited to football in England,” Xhaka said. “I think every player needs time to adjust to a new league, a new country and new team-mates.

“At the back end of last season I already felt good and I am feeling more comfortable now and want to help the team as much as I can this season as well.

“I am not a player who likes to talk about himself but I think I have shown since I have been here that I am someone who likes having the ball, dictating the play, looking for my team-mates.

“I’m what we call a ‘six’ in Germany, a quite aggressive, deep-lying playmaker.”

He is definitely aggressive, which is what Arsenal fans always wanted in a DM, but he seems to get fewer cautions than before and he has now tempered his game with more composure, and his long searching passes have improved beyond compare. Do you think the Swiss international should now be one of the first names on the team sheet?



  1. Adega Olatunji says:

    I think so even now that we have kolasinac

  2. Nayr says:

    the range of passing on xhaka and he is only 24.

    i would really like wenger to try a xhaka-wilshere patnership.
    or a xhaka-cazorla patnership.
    provided jack and santi stay fit.

    1. Midkemma says:

      I would be scared with that CM.
      Xhaka lacks mobility and not the best tackler, he is tough 😛 and he is strong 😀 Xhaka is a mean man XD but he lacks pace and that effects his timing in tackles. Can improve but IMO not a DM for the EPL.
      Wilsheres ankle would snap at the thought of a challenge while Cazorla isn’t a DM, he can put his foot in and he is intelligent, he isn’t a DM though.

      I would fear that the CM would lose too many battles and put extra pressure on the defence.

  3. Burton says:

    Kolasinac for me is the first name.

  4. John0711 says:

    Tyra but not because of outstanding displays, he’s done ok recently but he doesn’t have major competition

  5. Midkemma says:

    Yes, he has some things to improve still like focus on simple passes, this will come though and I bet we will see an improvement in this area this season.

    We need either Coquelin or ElNeny to form a formidable partnership with him, someone with more pace and a lot of stamina… Ramsey either if he could remember to get back and help defend but I think most of us are giving up hope he will ever learn that a CM needs to put in tackles as well.

    When Cazorla comes back then I think it could get interesting, I do wonder if they can work together as well because Cazorla wasn’t the DM and Xhaka isn’t a DM but a deep lying playmaker…

    Maybe Xhaka can get a few rests with Cazorla fit again which could be handy for when fixtures start piling up from different comps…

  6. Kiko says:

    What this transfer window has shown me is our poor short term planning. After a great start with Kolasinac and Lacazette, we are now stuck because seemingly the other players we been trying to bring in are also non-homegrown and currently we are at our registration limit even with Gabriel gone. More will need to follow and it seems Perez, Debuchy and Campbell are the only others that fit that bill. Reason why I said poor short term planning is because this was evident at least halfway through last season who needed to go yet here we are with 2 weeks left in the transfer window. Add the the current contract situations on top of that. A club our stature shouldn’t be this poor in preparations and quality, again we started a season underprepared by showing that with a makeshift defense in our opening game that was masked by 3 points. 2 weeks to get it right and create a better season with hopefully an actual challenge this time around. 3 points needed today regardless of who we field before heading to Anfield next.

  7. John0711 says:

    The problem being an Arsenal fan is you want your team to win but also realise if they do Wenger assumes that everything is ok

  8. Goonerboy says:

    Wenger starts with Monreal in the middle again against Stoke away…y’all know what that means..

    Frustrating stuff!

    1. Janssen says:

      It’s foolish

  9. TK Davis says:

    Carzola is done! Can we move on already! He is very unlikely to come back the player we once knew.

  10. Kofi? says:

    Xhaka is good. A decent midfielder so far with the ability to send long balls into the final third. He needs to discipline himself more like he said and also perfect his all round game. Shooting more would be helpful when teams it back deep against us. More room for improvement.
    Oh yes! At the moment, he’s guaranteed a starting spot.

  11. DarlingbudsofArse says:

    Definitely NOT!!! Still too prone to silly passing errors in our own half or even third as we saw on Friday that led to two Leicester goals. He’ll surely improve but for me he’s too leftsided!

  12. ClassyGunner says:

    Yes Xhaka, must be the first name, because he is the captain of my fantasy football team and earned many points in the last game 😉

  13. BOBBY says:

    Xhaka Is Too Erroneous. He Gives Away The Ball In Dangerous Areas That Leads To Us Conceeding. Simply Not Good Enough

  14. AllDwayfromAfriCa says:

    manh u feeling stupid right bout now

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