Ian Wright has identified Granit Xhaka as the Arsenal player that has impressed him this season.
THE LOWDOWN: THE RESURGENCE
Over the past two years, Granit Xhaka has been in the bad books of Arsenal and the club’s supporters for many reasons. His performance dropped, he got stripped of the captain’s armband and the team was not getting the desired results.
In the past, Ian Wright was highly critical of the Swiss midfielder and that came after Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur in 2020. Wright blamed Xhaka for Spurs’ second goal, while he was also not happy with the post-match interview the midfielder granted after Arsenal lost at Newcastle United last season.
“Seeing a player coming out and saying ‘they didn’t listen to the coach’s instructions is a very strange interview from Granit Xhaka,” said Wright.
“To say it now, I don’t think it helps anybody – it’s very magnanimous of him to come out be honest.”
But this season, Xhaka’s form and reception has seen a huge turnaround and he is also enjoying his football at the Emirates once again.
THE LATEST: LEGEND’S CONFESSION
Ian Wright has identified Granit Xhaka as one player that has been able to win him over in recent weeks.
Xhaka wore the captain’s armband in the absence of skipper Martin Odegaard in Arsenal’s 3-0 win at Brentford on Sunday.
Xhaka was quite efficient in midfield, providing the assist for Gabriel Jesus’ goal that put the Gunners two goals in front and Wright hailed his performance at the Community Stadium after the game.
“For me, Granit Xhaka is a player that we’re finally seeing play like he does for Switzerland,” he told Match of the Day 2.
“He’s playing in a position that suits him, playing more offensively. He’s playing with real authority and confidence.”
“Lately he’s been able to find space and from there he can be really dangerous because, for me, he’s got easily one of the best left-foots in the Premier League. It’s a great cross for the Jesus goal, it’s fantastic. He can also do the defensive stuff.”
“He set the tempo for Arsenal off the ball. I’m really pleased for him because I was one of his staunchest critics. But now we’re seeing the best of Granit Xhaka.”
THE VERDICT: GOOD TIME
Xhaka’s regeneration has come at the time Arsenal needed leaders in a very defining season and he’s been getting better at every passing game.
Perhaps, it’s the decision of Mikel Arteta to move him higher up the pitch that has helped him rediscover his form, but he deserves all the accolades he is getting at the moment as well.