Granit Xhaka is sorely missed in Arsenal’s midfield. Kieran Gibbs is the latest to point this out, as we revealed in a nice piece titled, “Ex-Gunner believes the current Arsenal team needs Xhaka.”
A contentious 1-0 loss to Newcastle on Saturday ended Arsenal’s unbeaten league streak. In that game, it was evident that Arsenal’s offense was again not as fluid as it had been last season, and it appears that this is due to them lacking what Xhaka used to provide them.
At this point, I can’t help but ask: will Arsenal ever be able to “replace Xhaka” with the midfielders they already have, or will they need to bring in another quality midfielder to fill the vacuum Xhaka left?
Anyway, before Arteta asks himself this question with the winter transfer window far away, why doesn’t he contemplate using Oleksander Zinchenko as his left-sided No. 8?
Given how threatening we saw Zinchenko at times when he drifted to midfield to orchestrate an attack, that’s a position where he can thrive. While in midfield, the Ukrainian has an eye for recognizing holes and angles that allow the ball to go up the pitch and unpick opponent defenses.
With Tomiyasu prospering as an inverted left back, Zinchenko being played in the Xhaka role won’t harm Arsenal. With no one capable of filling that role, a single trial of Zinchenko in the role might, going forward, alter the dynamics of Arsenal’s midfield.
Is that not a sensible idea?
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