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Arsene Wenger admits he has one concern about Granit Xhaka

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It isn't often that Arsene Wenger openly admits his worries regarding one of his own players.

But that is exactly what the Arsenal boss has surprisingly done ahead of this weekend's north London derby against bitter rivals Tottenham.

When the Frenchman addressed the press before Sunday's lunchtime game, he was asked about the temperament of summer signing Granit Xhaka.

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The Swiss international was sent off against Swansea last month - his eighth red card since 2014 for club and country.

And in a game notorious for getting a bit heated at the best of times, Wenger has emphasised the need for Xhaka to maintain his composure.

"I'm a bit concerned yes because the discipline is important," Wenger said, as per Sky Sports.

"We want to be effective in all positions we face. In derbies it is important to maintain discipline.

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"He's quite normally a composed and calm guy - sometimes he has a reaction that is a bit impulsive. He has to work on that and keep control of his reactions in the game."

Xhaka's combative style is exactly what many Arsenal fans have been calling for over the last few years and his tough tackling has already earned the 24-year-old plenty of new followers.

The ex-Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder probably won't thank his manager for airing his concerns in public, though, as it is likely to make him a potential target for Spurs players to antagonise during the game.

Arsenal v Swansea City - Premier League

A costly red card on Sunday would certainly damage his reputation and it will be up to Xhaka to prove he can control his emotions on the big stage.

Xhaka isn't the only problem on Wenger's hands, however, as there are doubts over the fitness of four players ahead of the derby.

Kieran Gibbs has joined Nacho Monreal, Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott on the injury table with a shoulder knock and the Arsenal manager faces the serious possibility of being without a senior left-back.

Sunderland v Arsenal - Premier League

Wenger added: "We have still some uncertainties at the moment because Kieran Gibbs has been touched on his shoulder and I don’t know how will respond to that. I will see today.

“After, the players who did not travel like Cazorla, Monreal, Walcott - there is still some uncertainty today, the closest to coming back looks to be Walcott. We will have a test with him today.

“Monreal has tests today and tomorrow and then we will decide. Cazorla is similar, he has not practised yet - he will try to go out today and we will see where we go from there. He is a doubt, yes.”

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Topics:
Granit Xhaka
Football
Premier League
Arsene Wenger
Tottenham Hotspur
Arsenal

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