Arsenal fans already at the end of their tether with Arsene Wenger must have rolled their eyes in unison after the teamsheet was read out at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Wenger has only spent serious money on one player this summer: Granit Xhaka, who cost £34 million to sign but was only named amongst the substitutes against Liverpool.
Without Xhaka in the team, Arsenal found themselves 4-1 down to Jurgen Klopp’s men after 63 minutes.
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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain pulled a goal back moments later, while Xhaka finally entered the fray on the 67th minute.
Calum Chambers then made the scoreline slightly more respectable for the Gunners by pulling back another consolation 15 minutes before full-time, but it was still a demoralising opening-day defeat for the north London outfit.
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Xhaka sets unwanted Premier League record
Xhaka was only on the field for 24 minutes but in that time he managed to set a new Premier League record, per 101 Great Goals.
However, it’s not one he’ll be particularly proud of.
The Switzerland international attempted six tackles and didn’t win a single one. That, however, didn’t break the record.
What did was the fact he committed more fouls than any other player on the opening weekend of the 2016-17 campaign - despite being on the pitch for less than 25 minutes.
Twitter reacts to Xhaka's debut
Here’s what Twitter made of Xhaka’s Premier League debut…
Wenger admits his side weren't ready
Wenger blamed the defeat on the fact his players weren’t physically ready following their exploits at Euro 2016.
“We pushed players today like [Aaron] Ramsey. It is an impossible situation to get players back from the Euros and prepare,” Wenger was quoted as saying by the Guardian after the match. “We played a very good first half and were unlucky to concede a goal just before half-time and after that, we paid for a lack of experience. We are not ready physically.
“You are in a catch-22 situation with the Euros, whether to give players a rest who need it. They are not ready to play this sort of game and get injured, like Ramsey, or you give them a rest and not have them for the start. You have to consider, as well, that we have been unlucky with losing Mertesacker and Gabriel, and having Koscielny not fit.”
Will Granit Xhaka prove to be a good signing or a waste of money? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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