Xhaka. An Arsenal Captain in the making?
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on September 2, 2016
Over the past few years, Arsenal had quite a few aspects that were considered their short comings, weaknesses. One of those aspects has been the fact that there hasn’t been a captain who had all the attributes of a leader. Ever since Patrick Vieira we’ve been lacking that some one who can lead us during all sort of situations, someone who has the physical and mental strength, aggression. Someone who can lead by an example, stand up for and to his teammates if needed be. We’ve had multiples captains over the past few years but none were able to fill those shoes and lead the team properly, effectively over the long run.And with the arrival of the Swiss midfielder Xhaka, We finally have that someone who is promising and has what it takes to be the leader we’ve needed for too long.
What makes Xhaka stand out compared to the rest?
Only few weeks into the season, Granit Xhaka has been showing why Arsene Wenger brought him into the team. It’s too soon to say too much but the midfielder showed so much promise during his recent performances where he adapted real well. He could be the type of midfielder we’ve missed and needed all along. Xhaka has the physical attributes, he is very strong built and tall and his injury history isn’t something that would worry us. What Xhaka brings to the plate is that he provides the stability in the midfield letting others go forward and attack and break down teams such as Watford, which we struggled doing over the past few seasons and dropped key points that eventually cost us.
Having that said, how Xhaka stands out from the other set of midfielders we have is the fact that he is defensively so very good, an area where the likes of Santi and Ramsey struggle at, the likes of Coquelin can be inconsistent at. Xhaka is that defensive wall we’ve always needed in our midfield. He’s the guy who’d be willing to do the dirty work, recover the ball, intercept and do the tackles and retain possession. And the stats in his previous games back it up too. The Swiss midfielder made 4 successful tackles, 2 interceptions and 5 ball recoveries.Apart from his defensive work, Xhaka has an amazing pass range. His pass completion stats in the Euros would back it up. And passing along side his defensive work are what makes Xhaka’s performances and role in the game extremely impressive. So much so that Wenger compared him to a former Arsenal player and legend Emmanuel Petit. His successful pass rate of 87.3% against Watford is nothing short of impressive. Also his long range passing is something we can look forward to and how it would effect the games with the likes of Giroud and Perez coming in.
And not just his work on the field but Xhaka has the skills of a leader, the sort of aggression and mental strength we’ve been lacking in a leader for a while. Explains why he got to captain the German side Borussia Mönchengladbach at the age of just 23. So it is safe to say, Arsene Wenger has brought in a gem. Someone who can develop, evolve real well over the next few years under Wenger. Not just as a midfielder but on all fronts of being a leader. So it would come as no surprise if in a few years we’d see Granit Xhaka wearing the Arsenal armband.