Granit Xhaka seems to have turned a corner in his Arsenal career.
Ever since Mikel Arteta has arrived at the club, the Swiss midfielder became a constant in the starting XI. However, he didn’t always maintain a high level of performance.
That seems to have changed since that fateful game against Chelsea earlier in the season where the Gunners put in a staggering display to end a seven-game winless run in the League. In just about every game since Boxing Day, the Switzerland international’s level hasn’t dropped and you’d have to argue it’s been his best run of form since joining in 2016.
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Ever since that win over the Blues, the midfielder has been a stand-out performer, even in the drab draw against Crystal Palace. Whilst almost every player had their various flaws during the game, Xhaka was one of the reasons Arsenal escaped with a draw after he shone in front of the back-four. He made the most tackles. ball recoveries and clearances, and his tackle to stop Wilfried Zaha scoring a certain goal wasn’t talked about enough.
Whilst he’s improved the defensive side of his game, it’s his offensive qualities which have come to the fore in recent outings. Against Chelsea, he played a delicious pass to Kieran Tierney in the build-up to the penalty. And that pass out to the left-wing seems to have become a constant with the two aces building up quite the partnership.
However, he’s not without help and the return of Thomas Partey on Monday did a lot to free up the £100k-p/w ace and allow him to play a more attacking role. Xhaka’s positioning was quite high up and it allowed him to play the second-most passes into the final third of any Arsenal player.
In the past, the fanbase have been extremely quick to lambaste the Gunners man, and rightly so with some of his antics. But, it seems a bit unfair his recent run of consistent form has gone under the radar as he enjoys his best spell in an Arsenal shirt.