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Villarreal ace Samuel Chukwueze delivers honest verdict on Arsenal star Granit Xhaka

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Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze spoke to UEFA TV about Arsenal star Granit Xhaka after facing him in the first leg of the semi-final of the Europa League last month.

Unai Emery got his revenge on Arsenal over two legs and knocked us out of the competition. The game at the Emirates was an uneventful 0-0 draw, but the damage was already done in the first leg.

My Revenge On Ben Foster

Chukwueze played a massive part in helping Villarreal win the game in Spain last month. The 22-year-old tormented Granit Xhaka, who was forced to play at left-back due to Kieran Tierney’s absence, but the Nigerian now claims that it wasn’t as easy as everyone thought.

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Samuel Chukwueze: Granit Xhaka is the toughest player I’ve faced

The rapid winger named Xhaka as the toughest player he has had to play against in the entire competition. It is safe to say, that has surprised plenty of people on social media.

Asked about the toughest player he faced in the Europa League this season, Chukwueze said: “It was (Granit) Xhaka. He was man-to-man marking me, he didn’t give me space. He was just very close to me & I couldn’t move an inch.”

Xhaka pulled out of the return leg due to an injury and Chukwueze hobbled off after 30 minutes as well. That hurt both teams, but Villarreal’s first-leg lead proved to be enough for them to reach the final.

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The Insider’s View:

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta received a lot of stick from pundits, media and some supporters for using Xhaka at left-back. Many felt that we would’ve won the first leg if Cedric Soares or Bukayo Saka played there instead of the Swiss international.

However, it’s now clear that Xhaka really wasn’t as bad as some pundits portrayed him to be.

The Swiss international didn’t have the best of games there, there’s no denying that. However, he deserves a lot more credit than people actually give him – for his performance against Villarreal and his displays for Arsenal in general.

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