80% Pass Accuracy, 50% Duels Won – How Arsenal’s £35m Signing Fared On His Full Debut


Arsenal finally got a point on the board as they held Leicester City to a 0-0 draw at the King Power Stadium. The Gunners were also lucky not to have given away a couple of penalties, but overall the result was fair and both teams got on the board after opening day losses.

The big talking point, apart from the penalties, was that of Granit Xhaka starting for the London club after making an appearance off the bench in the losing cause against Liverpool. Xhaka did not complete the game though, as Arsene Wenger might not have wanted to risk him, but the Swiss star did not have the greatest of debuts either.

Using the help of Squawka.com we tracked his performance at the King Power stadium and while there were a few good points about his overall play, there were certain aspects of his game which need to be worked on by Arsene Wenger.

Xhaka was often the deepest midfielder in the first half of the game when Arsenal tried to dominate the early exchanges. In fact, Francis Coquelin was moving forward and linking up on the wings or when required and Xhaka was the one pulling the strings and pinging the ball around to the other players in the side.

The Swiss star had an 80% success rate when it came to passing and that is certainly not good enough to play in the Arsenal side, though Granit does have a habit of losing possession as he tries to ping the ball to the furthest teammates.


Xhaka actually had an average passing distance of 20 metres but more than just that, it was his defensive actions which were his best aspects from the game. The 23-year-old midfielder actually won 50% of all his duels, though this number should increase once he plays more games in the Premier League.

The former Borussia Monchengladbach man was also very good when it came to defensive actions as he had a couple of interceptions and blocks as well. He did give the ball away once, which led to a goal scoring opportunity for Leicester but barring that, it was a decent enough performance considering that he was playing against the Champions and this was his first start in England.

Xhaka did try a couple of crosses into the box as well, but neither found an Arsenal shirt, but that is not his greatest strength and he would not be found in such offensive positions too many times either. Arsenal did well to hold onto the draw and there were times when Xhaka was missing in midfield, especially in the latter stages of the second half when the game was stretched, this could have been due to the fact that he too is not up to full fitness yet.

Arsenal and Xhaka have a long way to go but this was an alright start for the pair and Xhaka should get more comfortable in the days to come. There is a lot of work to be done but Xhaka is not someone who will shy away from that and hopefully he can make Arsenal resilient and tough to beat in the coming weeks.

Written by Kevin Harrison

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