Granit Xhaka repays trust
Josh Soppie reflects on Xhaka's role at Arsenal.
"No outfield player has played more minutes than Granit Xhaka in the Premier League. It used to be that the Premier League was his primary gig as the Gunners used the rotational options to get through the early stages of the Europa League.
"But now, with the competition of the Europa League heating up, Xhaka has been called upon for double duty. No other midfielder can be called upon to reliably do what Xhaka does. Both Wilshere and Ramsey are simply too much of a risk and Elneny is nowhere near dynamic enough.
"And he’s done it all while improving himself. The wear and tear of having to play twice a week doesn’t seem to bother him like it does the other players that Arsene Wenger highlighted as having 'heavy legs.'
"It remains to be seen how the midfield is going to be deployed going forward, but Granit Xhaka is going to be playing a huge, reliable part in it, no matter what. The bigger the role you hand to him, the more he is able to repay the trust. He is proving that time and again."
"Which, in my always-appreciative book, qualifies him for another round of appreciation. In the midst of the problematic midfield situation, Xhaka has only proven that he can have a baseline of consistency to bank on, which is truly the greatest gift we could ever want to have from any player – consistency."
Do you think Xhaka has improved this season compared to previous?