Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has given an update on the fitness of Granit Xhaka ahead of the game against Everton at Goodison Park on Monday.
The Swiss international suffered a terrible ankle injury in our win against Tottenham Hotspur in the North London derby. He has been out of action since and the initial assessment was that he will not return this year.
However, Xhaka, being the warrior he is, has progressed really well. He is set to return to action much before he was initially expected to come back.
Arsenal injury news: Mikel Arteta shares the latest on Granit Xhaka
The Spaniard said, as per Arsenal.com: “He is progressing well, he is doing all the right things and he’s feeling better but no more news on that. It’s very positive because the evolution he is doing is great, he is partially training with the team and he is heading in the right direction.
“This week he has progressed again to a different level, and tomorrow we will assess how he is, have a conversation with him and decide when is the best moment to start to give him some exposure in games.
“Yes, it will be (a boost) and we miss him. He is one of our leaders, one of the senior players who adds something very valuable to the team and hopefully we can have him back soon.”
The Insider’s View:
Arsenal have done fairly well since Xhaka’s injury, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t missed him. The Swiss international’s experience and range of passing have been a big miss for us, especially in our last game against Manchester United.
Xhaka’s return certainly is a massive boost for Arsenal. It will take a bit of time before he fully trusts his ankle again, but once he’s 100 per cent fit, the middle of our park will become a lot more solid.
It will be interesting to see how Xhaka’s return will impact Albert Sambi Lokonga. The Belgian, apart from a few mistakes here and there, has been brilliant. He is definitely a big part of our future, but he may have to make way for the experienced Swissman very soon.