Thursday, February 9, 2023

Wenger: I’m very happy with Granit Xhaka

Although he’s not been in the starting line-up for the last two games, Arsene Wenger says he’s very happy with £35m summer signing Granit Xhaka.

His absence is made more curious because he seems to have some of the qualities we need to help offset the missing Santi Cazorla, but the Arsenal manager insisted there was no big issue.

Speaking today, he said, “I’m very happy with Granit’s commitment.I think he’s developing well. He hasn’t maybe started enough since the start of the season but he is adapting to a different league, a different way of playing.

“Overall I’m happy because every day he’s focused on working hard and I’m confident he’ll get his number of games.”

But finding a way to play without Cazorla has not been easy, something Wenger admits, but says there’s enough quality in the squad to cope.

“He’s important to our technical stability in the team, to the quality of our decision-making and to our build-up from deep midfield to the high midfield,” he said.

“That’s an important stage because it gets the ball out from the defenders. “We have enough quality players in our side to get around that, even if Santi a massive player for us.

“We are good enough to find solutions despite the fact he’s not there.”

It would a surprise not to see Xhaka start against Bournemouth on Sunday, so let’s see.

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Missing Santi so much….so very much

Mesut O'neill

We have missing Ozil as well ?


Use him more then…


im struggling to see why we havent used him more since santis injury.


Nothing to fear here. I’m assuming Wenger thinks we’re solid enough in the middle while giving Xhaka the standard ‘6 months to adapt’. Our midfield is quite the curious case. So many options, all indivially brilliant (Coq protecting, Elneny box to box, Cazorla playmaker, Xhaka deeper lying playmaker, Ramsey late arriving attacker and Wilshere the driver). Question is how to mould any combination of those into a formidable partnership when Santi is out. Each of those players would probably individually walk into the starting line up of all of the other PL teams and improve them (Maybe expect for Coq… Read more »

John C

All individually brilliant?! Are you having a laugh, all not quite good enough more like, all with major deficiencies that stop any one of them being a top class, fully rounded central midfielder. The only player who might not fall in that category is Xhaka on the basis that we haven’t seen enough of him to make that judgement, otherwise not one of the others is a complete midfielder.


Just curious which deep lying midfielder currently playing in the EPL would you say is “complete”?


Cesc is a complete ass.

John C

What does that have to do with anything? I’m just saying that none of our midfielders are as good as people make out, but Cesc would walk into this team and if Vieira was around he’d be head and shoulders above anything we currently have.

But here’s a question for you, if our midfielders are so good why when Cazorla is taken out no combination can control and win a midfield battle against either Man Utd or PSG?

I rony

No better way to adapt then to play.

Hank Wankford

Looking forward to his impact once he’s utilised


Informative article, but I wish they were funnier… like they used to be.

Little Mozart

I’m excited to see Xhaka start again. He is an exciting player, capable of making things happen. He will be a big player for us in the future, and maybe even this season too.


Xhaka’s problem is not his qualities, it’s Wenger’s blindness about Ramsey.

Ozil's left foot

We were this exact same question about Alexis. Wenger is managing Xhaka’s game time so he can get acclimatized see the pace power of the game in England before coming on. But Xhaka looks like he’s chomping at the but for his chance.

Arteta's Silky Bush

I was excited about Xhaka’s arrival but had, and still have, concerns over his pace. His positional awareness is strong, but his lack of speed leaves us exposed on counter attacks. His passing is also not quite as accurate as Coq and Elneny’s, granted he does attempt more forward and long passes than the others (excluding Santi). Agree with others, however, that he needs a better run in the team before we can pass final judgement. Part of me would like to to see a midfield 3 of Coq, Xhaka, and Ramsey in #10 pushing Ozil to the wing in… Read more »


Cazorla is not that fast either. I think we are okay if we play one of Coq, Ramsey with him


Has Wenger tried Xhaka/Coquelin yet? If so I can’t remember, how did that turn out?


Against Spurs? Thought they were ok but we lacked offensive threat from midfield imho, the pressing by coq was often mistimed too. They passed around and through our midfield pretty easily.

Arsenal predicted formations against Bournemouth

Why not play coquelin as a cDm and make him like kante , try to play with 3 at the back , xhaka as a central midfielder , and Sanchez as a striker?

Lord Bendtner

Santi is the most unnneded, useless arsenal player in our team…
…said no one ever


I believe our best midfield pivot are Xhaka and Ramsey.


I’d like to see a xhaka and Ramsey combination for the bournemouth game. It will give an attacking edge we are missing in the midfield at the moment.

Isaac mufuta

Ok….on myside Gx is good in all but he need more playing time on the pitch. Addition,am worried because the team has more midfielders and some are getting more time when their performance is low…like Romeo his performance is poor than any other midfielder. .Gx need more time…!!!!!

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