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. ”