Speaking on Pitch to Post podcast, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp has raised doubts over Arsenal star Granit Xhaka’s brilliant recent form.
The Swiss international is arguably our most criticised player in recent years. He can be brilliant at times, but on other days, many feel he can be a real liability for Arsenal against good teams.
Xhaka, however, has been outstanding in the Premier League since our Boxing Day win over Chelsea. He has run the show in the middle of the park, and early signs show he can form an incredible partnership with Thomas Partey.
Redknapp, however, feels that Xhaka’s form is temporary. He believes that it is just a matter of time before the Swiss star makes another silly decision that would cost Arsenal dearly this season.
He said: “I said live on Sky, I believe there are too many kidders in that team and I still believe that one or two of them turn it on when they want.
“Right now, there are some senior players who are playing well. Xhaka is a player I’ve been really critical of but his form has been great. Will he keep it going? I’m not convinced.
“You know he’s always capable of a red card or a rash challenge that’s going to cost his team, especially in games where he plays against quick midfielders, his lack of pace really affects that midfield area.”
Arsenal Insider’s view
Redknapp has a point there but his overall assessment is pretty harsh. Yes, Xhaka has shown he has the tendency to give away silly fouls or make a rash challenge that is worthy of a red card.
However, people often forget the good things about him. His quality on the ball, his vision and his ability to pick out a pass is brilliant.
Apart from Partey, he is probably our best midfielder in terms of the balance between attack and defence, and that is why Arsene Wenger, Unai Emery and now Mikel Arteta continue to stand by him irrespective of what pundits, media and some fans feel about him.
Xhaka, like most of his teammates, had a poor first half of the season. It was the same last campaign as well, but he was one of our best players in the second-half last term and Arteta will be hoping that he can be just as good again, if not better, in the coming months.