Sokratis has named Granit Xhaka as the ‘best midfielder he’s ever played with’ prior to his reunion with Arsenal yesterday evening.
The Greece international had his contract terminated after he was left out of the Premier League and Europa League squad earlier in the campaign.
Speaking prior to the clash with the Gunners, the Olympiacos man labelled the Swiss midfielder as ‘one of the best Arsenal players’.
Sokratis said: “Granit is one of the best team-mates I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Before the Burnley game, he played five or six games where he was probably the best player in the team. I think he’s one of Arsenal’s best players and certainly one of the best midfielders that I’ve played with.” (via football.london)
You get a rather uncomfortable feeling in the pit of your stomach after reading those comments from the 32-year-old. Do those comments highlight the lack of quality teammates Sokratis has played with throughout his career? Or is Xhaka far better than he makes himself look on the field?
There is no doubt that Granit Xhaka has been a stalwart in Mikel Arteta’s midfield since his arrival at the club way back in December 2019. As a matter of fact, I’d go as far as saying he’s been one of the most improved players under the Spaniard in recent months.
However, all of that doesn’t take away from one inescapable fact, you can always expect the Switzerland international to make mistakes throughout a season. It’s the ace’s bread and butter and has been a part of his game since his arrival in England back in 2016.
No outfield player has made more mistakes than Xhaka since the start of his debut season back during 2016/2017.
It feels pretty harsh to say given how consistent he’s been recently, but, the fact the 28-year-old makes so many mistakes limits how good he can really be.
The truly great players very rarely make mistakes as is the case with Arsenal’s Thomas Partey. And given the fact Sokratis has played alongside midfielders like Marco Reus, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ousmane Dembele, I highly doubt Xhaka is anywhere near ‘one of the best players’ he’s played with.