Enough is enough: It’s time for Emery to drop this £35m liability from the Arsenal XI

Why Unai Emery should drop Granit Xhaka from the Arsenal starting XI

Arsenal have ushered into a new era, with new manager Unai Emery set to build his own brand. The Gunners have made an indifferent start to this season by registering two wins in the opening 4 games.

In glimpses, Emery’s army have shown their quality but the main problem that this team has is the constant inclusion of Granit Xhaka. When he signed for Arsenal two years ago from Borussia Monchengladbach for a fee of £35m, he was touted as a future captain and was expected to improve the Gunners’ midfield. But after two seasons at the Emirates Stadium, has Xhaka improved Arsenal’s midfield?

With Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla moving on from Arsenal earlier this summer, Xhaka was expected to take the centre stage and dictate the tempo of the games. He possesses a fantastic range of passing, has a good control of the ball and is capable of producing moments of brilliance with his wand of a left foot.

Granit Xhaka

However, the Switzerland international has never looked like the player Arsenal thought they were signing back in 2016 and his latest performances proved his inadequacy at the top level. He was at the fault for Cardiff City’s opening goal in Sunday’s 3-2 win for Arsenal and there were many reasons to be frustrated with his performances at the Cardiff Stadium.

Xhaka’s forte is his wonderful passing ability but when a player’s key strengths become a glaring weakness, it is not a promising sign. On Sunday it was his awful pass which was cut out by Cardiff City who equalised on the stroke of half-time through Victor Camarasa. Arsenal deserved to win the three points but it was another nervy defensive performance by Emery’s men.

Despite entering his third year at the Emirates, Xhaka still looks strangely clueless and his talent still remains hidden. The Swiss ace’s positioning has been poor, he is slow to turn with the ball, remains error-prone and clearly has an aggressive nature that makes him pick up bookings.

Since arriving in England, the 25-year-old has struggled to adapt as a defensive midfielder, which he isn’t in any case whatsoever.

Granit Xhaka

Under Arsene Wenger, Xhaka often played in a double-pivot and hence, he struggled. Emery is yet to understand the fact that Xhaka isn’t a defensive midfielder and he needs a holding midfielder alongside him along with a creative midfielder to see the best out of the Switzerland international.

Read more: Why Arsenal would become an unbeatable machine if Emery plays £102.5m star duo together

But not to forget, Xhaka hasn’t done himself any favours, with his latest performance adding to the growing belief that he needs to be dropped from the starting XI.

Emery has shown that he is willing to drop any player who he feels does not suit his philosophy and it’s high time the Spaniard hands Lucas Torreira his first start of the season and leaves Xhaka out of the team. Unfortunately, Torreira has injured himself while on duty for his national team.

Written by Rohan Sengupta

Hi, I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.
Follow me @garrydevildada

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