Arsenal is more effective with Granit Xhaka in the team.
I wanted to know how Arsenal performed in the Premier League when Granit Xhaka played and the numbers were certainly interesting.
Now, these numbers are far from scientific, I will openly admit that. I also did not include the likes of Joe Willock, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Dani Ceballos etc, they have not played enough games in midfield to get a fair percentage.
There is also mitigating circumstances and context to take into consideration. As an example, Mesut Ozil is an attacking midfielder and Lucas Torreira a defensive midfielder.
And obviously, players are played regularly out of position, certainly in the case of Torreira.
Anyway, I got these figures from the Premier League website and of course, they only apply to Premier League games.
170 Mesut Ozil
108 Granit Xhaka
44 Lucas Torreira
46 Matteo Guendouzi
55.88 Mesut Ozil
53.70 Granit Xhaka
47.72 Lucas Torreira
45.65 Matteo Guendouzi
30.58 Mesut Ozil
11.11 Granit Xhaka
4.54 Lucas Torreira
2.17 Matteo Guendouzi
18.82 Mesut Ozil
6.81 Lucas Torreira
6.48 Granit Xhaka
0.00 Matteo Guendouzi
Tackle success percentages
70.00 Mesut Ozil
67.00 Granit Xhaka
61.00 Lucas Torreira
54.00 Matteo Guendouzi
Again, these are just basic statistics and there are a ton of variables to consider but taken at face value there is some interesting conclusions to be drawn.
Ozil is the standout midfielder, Guendouzi is still on a learning curve and Xhaka is basically the second-best performer.
This is a little unfair on Torreira because he is played out of position regularly and the figures are skewed towards Ozil because he plays so much further up the pitch.
Also, the numbers are percentages only and not the core numbers, as an example, the tackles made by Ozil may have a higher percentage but he does much fewer tackles than the others.
There are other stats and the reason I chose the ones above is that they are the most critical in my opinion, as an example, I did not include crosses or headers won etc.
Based on these figures and some others I did look at it is clear to me that Xhaka is more effective than Guendouzi and that a threesome of Xhaka, Ozil and Torreira would be the best option for Emery.
Problem is, he likes Guendouzi and that generally means that at least one of the above players is sacrificed.
A lot of the fans may not like Xhaka but his numbers stand up very well against his fellow midfielders, especially those that are more defensive-minded.