Wenger on Xhaka
Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Mikel Arteta has completely transformed Granit Xhaka this season and the Arsenal boss’ decision may well have come after listening to Arsene Wenger.

The legendary Frenchman was the man who signed Xhaka for Arsenal. The Swiss international, ironically, was brought in as Arteta’s replacement in our midfield, and he is one of our longest-serving players now.

Arteta has decided to play Xhaka in a box-to-box role this term. The 29-year-old, at times, has been our most-advanced midfielder on the pitch, and that has made Arsenal much more dangerous in attack.


Playing Xhaka in an advanced role definitely seems like a smart move now, but Wenger wanted to do this about six years ago.

Mikel Arteta takes Arsene Wenger’s advice to transform Arsenal star Granit Xhaka

A few weeks after Arsenal signed Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016, Wenger was asked about his plans for the £35 million man. He revealed then that he sees the Swiss international as a box-to-box midfielder.

Wenger said back in September 2016, as quoted by the Belfast Telegraph: “I personally prefer him as a box-to-box player.

“Because he has the engine, he has the power, he has the long pass. He likes to come deep and distribute the game, but he has the engine to have the impact with his runs.

“He will play games; every week he’s stronger and better. He will have a huge impact.”

The Insider’s View:

“It’s the evolution of the player,” Arteta said yesterday when asked about Xhaka playing in a more advanced role.

The 29-year-old has often been criticised by some fans, pundits and the media for his performances in the middle of the park. People have always questioned his ability to play as a number six, but everyone’s impressed with his new role now.

Arsenal are still reportedly on the market for a new man in the middle of the park. A world-class box-to-box midfielder is the dream, but with both Oleksandr Zinchenko and Xhaka available to play in that role, Edu may well change his mind.

Arteta deserves immense praise for deploying Xhaka in this new role, but we must say – Wenger’s done it again!

Wenger on Xhaka
Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

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