The fact is that Arsenal desperately need Granit Xhaka back ASAP

Arsenal’s Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka was given an extra year’s extension on his contract this summer after reportedly being targeted by Jose Mourinho at Roma, and Mikel Arteta made it clear that Xhaka was a very important part of his plans for this season.

But due to various problems, he had only made 4 starts for the Gunners in this campaign before suffering a knee injury in our excellent win over Tottenham earlier in the season. Mikel Arteta said at the time: “He’s had a couple of incidents already this season with Covid, with suspension and now with long-term injury. He’s a strong man and he will use this time to focus on other things and I’m sure he will be back in the right place when he’s back. Obviously, he’s a big player for us, someone who is really important, and he will be missed. Other players have to step in.”

But Arteta was also hopeful that he had enough options to cover for his position until his return. The boss continued: “It is a big, big loss and we will lose him for a while but we will try to keep him as close as possible to the team. He will evolve and develop in other areas. This is the first big injury he has had, we are here to help him and I am sure we will find other ways around the team because we have other really good players who will step in and do the job.”

The “really good players” that Arteta would have had in mind were Thomas Partey (who has sadly been in terrible form lately), Albert Sambi (who is promising but still very inexperienced), Mo Elneny (no need to expand), and maybe Ainsley Maitland-Niles (who doesn’t seem to be trusted by Arteta and rarely plays). You could surmise that Martin Odegaard could also be an option, but he is struggling to play well even in his favoured position at the moment).

partey

So although many Arsenal fans are unhappy that Xhaka is even still at the club, the fact is that he is a better player in his position than any of our other alternatives, and with the glut of fixtures coming up we really need to add some steel to the midfield, as any combination of the above are hardly going to strike fear into our opponents.

But there is hope on the horizon, with Arteta explaining yesterday that Xhaka is improving rapidly and may be available sooner rather than later. The boss said: “He is progressing well, he is doing all the right things and he’s feeling better but no more news on that. It’s very positive because the evolution he is doing is great, he is partially training with the team and he is heading in the right direction.

“This week he has progressed again to a different level, and tomorrow we will assess how he is, have a conversation with him and decide when is the best moment to start to give him some exposure in games.”

Arteta went on to admit that we need him, and was asked if it wouldgive theteam aboost to have himback. “Yes, it will be and we miss him, he is one of our leaders, one of the senior players who adds something very valuable to the team and hopefully we can have him back soon.”

And I have to agree with Arteta, whatever you think about him personally, we could really do with Xhaka back as soon as possible…

Tags Arteta recovery Xhaka

49 Comments

  1. Its funny how people forget (in absence) how much of a liability some players are!!!!!!!! We are far better without him!!!!!!! NO THANKS.

        1. No Jon, it is you that are desperate to insult me at every opportunity.
          I wrote that post because it is my honest opinion that we NEED Xhaka back, considering the alternatives. You are the one that hates him Jon, and @ Reggie please show me the post that I have “rehashed” this from?

          1. Oh come on PAT ! There have been countless Xhaka articles on this theme of him being considered useful and simply because you , rather oddly and in a big minority of fans, rate him, you are miffed when his obvious liabilities are pointed out which frustrates you.

            You know as well as anyone how loathed and derided he is by almost all Gooners, and rightly so as he harms our club by his presence!

            You know that is the real truth, so please stop insulting our collective intelligence.

            1. Jon, “Almost all Gonners” simply doesn’t include his manager and his team-mates, and the reason the article appeared yesterday is because Arteta spoke about him in the pre-match conference.

              And yet again, you take my article out of context as I more than aware of his faults. My point is; He is better than our current alternatives…..

          2. Come on, you must know that by showing support for certain players or the manager you clearly have an “agenda”! That “agenda” being that you want the team to do as well as possible….

  2. The problem with a fit Xhaka is that he’s not an option for MA to be utilised against the right opposition…he’s an automatic starter regardless if he’s the wrong man for a specific opposition.

      1. Xhaka is world famous for his abilities but not outside of Arsenal. NO OPPOSITION TEAMS FANS RATE HIM EVEN A LITTLE BIT. Ask some, you get the true answer about xhaka!!!!!!!!

  3. We have lost Xhaka’s ability to make incisive passes along the left sideline. We currently rely on Magalhaes to do that, but imagine if we have to players that can provide through ball along the left wing for our attacking LB

    However, we can still play well without him. The most urgent matter to solve is our CF problem

    Lacazette can only hold off the opposition’s CBs up to a certain extent and he is awful in high pressing. Whereas Aubameyang is pacey and tall, but he has a pretty limited physicality to press constantly and to win aerial duels

    1. They are already up mate
      You have missed the first 5 games ,sorry bud .
      That came thick and fast this week .

        1. I always struggle to find it Dan, I just stumbled on it by accident a few minutes ago under most commented.

          Where exactly on thr site does predictions fall under, then i can just search there?

  4. just a sad sign of how the arsenal fan base has aclimmatised to mid-table mediocrity … spurs win today and they are ahead … the club needs to get real fast

  5. ALMOST perfect headline Ad PAT!

    Simply replace the word “back” with the word “sold” and then I could not like your headline more.

    Any fan or Admin who wants this immobile statue back, who makes Mertesacker look speedy, has clearly forgotten that pace and mobility are vital necessities in all players.

    I pray he never wears our shirt ever again and that he is gone asap.

      1. Pat I simply have had 6 years too much enough of the immobile and statuesqe Xhaka.
        I do firmly think Partey and Lokonga are far better. NOT ELNENY THOUGH WHO IS RUBBISH TOO!
        But at least he is rarely picked, so does less harm overall.

        1. Jon I agree with you regarding Xhaka; how truly influential is he? What metrics?
          1. Goals scored?
          2. Assists?
          3. Chances created?
          4. Defensive splitting passes?
          5. Interceptions?
          6. Aerials won?
          7. Tackles?

          Is Xhaka anywhere near top of the league in any of those metrics? I have no idea, but I would guess no.

          All his years at Arsenal, and I fail to see him as a difference maker.

          1. Durand , YES and though Xhaka is by far the slowest of all in out team, our lack of passing pace throughout the whole team is the single biggest factor, in my view, as to why we have no cutting edge.

            Whenever I watch City or Liverpool , the reason they are so dangerous is that they move the ball so quickly and throughout the game Our play is painfully slow to watch, with a very few exceptions.
            Fast pace and player mobility is VITAL, WHICH IS WHY I CANNOT ABIDE THE STATUE XHAKA.

            1. I would agree with you about our passing.

              I would also add they dwell on the ball too long, and many times the first touch is terrible.

              Too often they pass without purpose; recycling to CB, side to side between the back 4.

    1. Unless you cheer for the opposition, with Xhaka a penalty or set piece is lurking around every time he has the ball at his feet. Xhaka is a nice professional athlete and it ends there, no way would he walk into any top 10 team in the EPL. Little Mou was not ready to shell out out more than 12M, maybe Mou wanted Xhaka to speed up his sacking process and earn the distinguished record of being “sacked one”. We need an effective CDM, plain and simple, Partey is a B2B player and so he looks a pale shadow of his ATM days.

      1. Yet he has just walked right back into MA’s team LC!!!!!
        So, after three years and over £200,000,000 spent on players, we are not a top ten side under the “magician”?

        Is that what you are saying?
        If so, where is the progress?

  6. short memories is why we have had so many medicore players at this club for so long. Xhaka has got to be the biggest midfield liabilty we’ve had for years and ppl want him back. Theres not even a clear reason why. Is our win rate better with him or something? Because I dont think thats the case. What would he have done in United game besides gotten a red. Ppl need to see the mediocrity and stop begging for it back. Folks have no problem going after Aubameyang who carried us for a few seasons, but they want Granit back in XI who has never done much positive for us.

  7. Urgh, please stop. The last time we were 4th in the table, Xhaka hadn’t arrived yet. That tells you all you need to know to figure out that relying on players who just aren’t good enough to be regular starters results in endless poor season results.

    Partey has been poor all season and we STILL do better without Xhaka.

    1. I will never support the idea ‘we don’t need him’, so far he is still our player, we need him .
      Midfield is where we are so weak atm , none of our midfield are exceptional, all seems to be on same level, so we need him in the team, maybe not as starter but he will play his part obviously.
      We need a better cm obviously but since we have not gotten many options, and with Elneny, Partey departure for AFCON soon

  8. My post again vanished!
    But as usual, will probably reappear as soon as I SEND THIS SECOND POST.

    BAFFLING AS TO WHY IT ALWAYS HAPPENS THOUGH. ANYONE KNOW WHY!

    1. The fact is simply explained. When you post your second comment your page refreshes itself. Everyone else can see the comment but until you refresh, you won’t

  9. I agree with you Adajim

    I don’t think we “desperately” need him back and the story isn’t about him as a potential new signing, Xhaka is an active part of the current squad and I would want anyone in that squad to come back from injury ASAP and be available as an option for the remainder of this season, next season is another view that we don’t need to think about in too much detail yet

    Options in the area that Xhaka tends to play will be limited if AFCON goes ahead and Xhaka would need some match time before that to be a good option himself

    1. I’d agree if he wasn’t forced into the starting lineup whenever fit at the expense of better options. If he played every 3rd game or when someone else was in poor form, great, but he’s not. He played no matter how badly he plays or how obvious his flaws cause mayhem around the middle of the pitch.

  10. Xhaka is a liability to Arsenal FC and the team. We don’t need him and are better without him.

  11. not only is xhaka the worst player on our books right now, but , he is a liability. he will either be booked or sent off when he next plays, he will be rusty, so even slower than normal.granite made of putty !!!.

  12. I don’t care what anybody thinks about Xhaka, I love seeing him on the field play alongside Partey….He didn’t asked to be signed by the Arsenal, but everytime he wears that Jersey,he gives his all even if it results in a mistake or a red card…..which cannot be said for half the mediocre team we field most times……Until he leaves the Arsenal, i think it’s only best we support him and stop throwing unnecessary jabs at his abilities…..Go beat up the board to sign a better player and stop blaming Xhaka for choosing to repay Arteta’s trust in him by staying….

  13. We can’t say we don’t need xhaka ,what I can say for now we need him to protect the back 4 so partey can move forward that how he plays at aletico madrid but at arsenal his always protecting the back 4 that the reason why partey isn’t performing..

  14. Take it or leave it, like it or don’t, fact remains that a Xhaka/ Partey combination is the best available for the base of that Arsenal midfield.

  15. Lokonga was doing his job and he did it well most of the time. For a youngster, he was almost perfect and he needs more time to improve.

    Just a thought, why don’t we play Nuno as left-footed DM alongside Partey and Teirney on the left side, crazy enough eh?

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