Xhaka tipped to struggle again if he plays left-back against Newcastle United

Granit Xhaka has filled in at left-back for Arsenal in the last few games and the Swiss midfielder looks set to continue in that position when Arsenal faces Newcastle later today.

After allowing Sead Kolasinac to leave for Schalke 04 in the last transfer window, Arsenal has been left with Kieran Tierney as their only natural left-back.

The former Celtic man has been in outstanding form, but injuries have continued to hamper his contribution to the Arsenal team.

The Scotsman has been sidelined for the last few games with injuries and that has forced Mikel Arteta to use Xhaka in that position.

The Spanish manager has tested Cedric Soares there also, but it seems that he prefers Xhaka, probably because he is naturally left-footed.

Xhaka shone when he first played there against Sheffield United, but he has struggled against the likes of Everton and more recently, Villarreal.

Martin Keown believes he would struggle against Allan Saint-Maximin if he is chosen to play there against Newcastle United.

He writes on Mail Sport: “Another key issue, which may well be highlighted against Newcastle tomorrow, is at left back. Granit Xhaka does not deserve to be getting the blame. I feel for him. He’s a midfielder being told to play at left back by his manager in Kieran Tierney’s absence. 

“Xhaka played well there against Sheffield United, and Arsenal kept their first clean sheet for 13 games. But he has since been left exposed by higher-quality opponents, such as Richarlison for Everton and Samuel Chukwueze for Villarreal. He could now face Newcastle’s in-form Allan Saint-Maximin.

“Let’s not even go into how a club like Arsenal, whose owners wanted them in the closed-shop European Super League, finds itself without a back-up left back.

“Villarreal boss Unai Emery identified Xhaka at left back and Dani Ceballos on the left of a midfield two as the vulnerable area in Arteta’s side on Thursday. Emery showed his experience against a team he knew well, while Arteta showed his inexperience. ”

Tags Granit Xhaka

4 Comments

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  1. Jim wall says:

    Xakai is not a left back, it’s the managers fault for putting him their.
    Why not try this team against villarreal in the second leg,

    Leno
    Holding. Mari. Gab
    Cedric. Partey xakai saka
    ESR
    PEPE. MARTINELLE

  2. Grandad says:

    I’m pretty sure Xhaka will be restored to central midfield against Newcastle ,who ,apart from Saint-Maximin have a very quick wing back in Jacob Murphy who has been impressive since his conversion from his role as a traditional winger .For that reason I sincerely hope Martinelli plays on the left wing as he has the pace and energy to combat Murphy.Saka and Partey should be rested for the Villareal match and with little at stake, I would try Chambers at DM to support Leeds are and Xhaka.As you can reduce I am not a fan of either Elneny nor Ceballos.

  3. Grandad says:

    To support Odegaard and Xhaka and deduce instead of reduce..Apologies.

  4. Declan says:

    Cedric at left back. Xhaka has done well but won’t be able to handle St Maximin.

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