Arsenal fans make interesting observation about Granit Xhaka in 3-2 defeat to Chelsea

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Granit Xhaka may just be the most divisive player in the Premier League.

Ever since he arrived at Arsenal in the summer of 2016, the Swiss midfielder has split the opinion of football fans.

Some praise his passing range and ability to dictate the game, others laugh at his lack of defensive awareness and mobility across the pitch.

And in the 3-2 defeat to Chelsea, Xhaka's critics came out to play again.

The former Borussia Monchengladbach player only played the first-half at Stamford Bridge, with Unai Emery substituting him after he picked up a yellow card.

Due to the tempo of the game and his poor tackling ability, he probably would have seen red had he stayed on.

Lucas Torreira came on to replace him and the whole dynamic of the game changed after his arrival with the score at 2-2.

Arsenal defended a lot better, but they were unable to attack and test Chelsea's defence like they did in the final 15 minutes of the first period.

Arsenal FC v Manchester City - Premier League

And fans pointed out that the Gunners' attacking penetration in that spell had a lot to do with Xhaka.

He was the man finding Hector Bellerin and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in space behind Chelsea's defence on the right, which led to a number of chances.

The tweets below paint a completely different picture of Xhaka's performance at Stamford Bridge.


Unai Emery has a real midfield conundrum on his hands.

Without Xhaka, Arsenal clearly lacked attacking impetus but they were much more balanced defensively.

Matteo Guendouzi was comfortably Arsenal's best player on the day, but is the 19-year-old a sustainable starting option for the rest of the season alongside Torreira? Probably not.

Chelsea v Arsenal - Premier League

Emery has to start solving this issue if he is to have any hope of progressing this season.

Whether it means Aaron Ramsey being brought back in as well is another matter entirely.

Lucas Torreira
Unai Emery
Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Granit Xhaka
Hector Bellerin

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