For much of the last few campaigns, Arsenal have lacked real steel in the centre of their midfield. Some would argue that French midfielder Francis Coquelin gives the Gunners that particular attribute in the centre of the park.
However, is Coquelin really ever going to develop past his current level? It seems doubtful. He does a decent enough job, but it’s unlikely he will ever be world-class.
Arsene Wenger brings in a defensive midfielder
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger obviously felt like he needed more quality or more bodies in the defensive midfield role and splashed out £34million on highly-rated Swiss international Granit Xhaka in the summer.
Xhaka looked like a very shrewd signing from Wenger, as he had impressed immensely in the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach. He looked strong, was mobile and could put his foot in, even if sometimes he was slightly impetuous.
Has not featured been a regular starter
When Xhaka arrived it looked like he would go straight into the Arsenal starting line-up. However, it has not worked out that way, as Xhaka has been in and out of the Gunners starting line-up this season, which seems strange for a big money new signing.
The 24-year-old has started just eight of Arsenal’s 19 games this season, which is hard to explain. Xhaka did arrive in north London with a reputation for being quite rash, so maybe that is why he was left out in big games against the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United.
Despite his reputation for liking a card a card, Xhaka produced a superb performance in the Gunners 1-1 north London derby with Tottenham. He was arguably Arsenal’s best player and in the heat of a local derby shone.
Surely the benefits of having him in the team outweigh the minuses? Arsene Wenger knew his reputation for picking up cards before his arrival, so why sign spent so much money on the midfielder if he was wary about that certain part of his character.
Must start more games
Granit Xhaka is a very good player, which was proven by his big price tag. He does have a nasty streak, having collected eight red cards in the last three years.
However, a lot of the best players down the years in his position had the same streak and enjoyed long careers. Xhaka will know he has to tone his behaviour down, but surely the fact that he did not even concede a foul against Tottenham suggest he is ready to reign in his rashness?
Xhaka was a big money buy and surely deserves to be given more starts in the team. He has not like he has been given a chance and been woeful. He is definitely a player that is currently used by Arsene Wenger, but hopefully, he will get a run in the team to prove his ability.
Should Granit Xhaka be in the Arsenal starting line-up?