Arsenal legend Ian Wright has dubbed Granit Xhaka as the club’s surprise player of the season and admitted that he’s proven him wrong.
Speaking to Optus Sport on YouTube, Wright raved about Xhaka and the role that he’s played in the Gunners side during the 2022/23 campaign thus far.
He stated, “Who has been the surprise? I’d probably say Granit Xhaka. He’s been a brilliant servant to the club to this point. Every manager has trusted him. He’s magnificent in the dressing room. This season with Mikel using him as more of an attacking force, what you’re seeing now is that he doesn’t get involved in fouls and that stuff, that wasn’t the strength of his game.
He’s one of the driving forces of the team and I’m very pleased that Mikel has recognised that in him and he’s turned into the player where it would be tough for us to put a side out where we need anything and he’s not in it.
“I was one of his critics, you’d see him make mistakes that you make when you’re not in the right position. I’ve eaten a lot of humble pie over Xhaka and I’ve got no problem with that because he’s come and he’s proved a lot of people wrong.
“Mikel has to take a lot of credit for that because he’s playing him in a position where he can excel and the reason we’re excelling in the team is because he’s one of the main cogs in that.”
Manager Mikel Arteta has certainly relied on the Swiss midfielder a number of times this season, he’s featured 34 times and provided 12 goal contributions in the Premier League.
Some Arsenal fans may not have expected the 30-year-old to be such a prominent force in their title-challenging midfield. There’s certainly a case to be made that he’s one of the, if not the most improved players in England’s top flight this season.
His contract with the Gunners is up in the summer of 2024 and losing him would be a blow. He’s one of the more experienced figures in a very young side, so replacing him wouldn’t be easy.
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