Granit Xhaka has become the centre of a disappointment for the Arsenal fans who are labelling him the reason for the defeat against Villarreal. The Gunners were defeated by The Yellow Submarine. However, they scored an away goal which they will hope to take advantage of when they host the next week.
The Swiss midfielder joined a local club from Basel, where he was born. 2 years later, he joined a renowned Swiss Football Club known as FC Basel Youth system where he played for 8 years. During this period, he got the chance to play for the club’s U-21 side. He got his first-team call-up after putting up an impressive display for the U-21 side.
After making a decent 60 appearances in 2 years for his hometown club, he was approached by a German club. Borussia Monchengladbach agreed on a 5-year deal with Xhaka, which cost the club €8.5 million. He made his debut in the DFB Pokal competition first round. A few days later he was also given his European competition’s debut.
Soon enough he made his Bundesliga debut. All the 3 competitions’ debut came in a single month. His quick introduction to the team meant the coach saw him as an important member of the squad. It turned out to be true as he went on to make 33 appearances in his debut season.
For the next couple of years, he kept on getting better and better. Xhaka even helped his club reach 3rd place in the Bundesliga and grab a Champions League spot in his third year.
In the fourth year with Monchengladbach, he was bestowed with the captain’s armband of which the responsibilities he performed diligently. In 2016, he joined Arsenal in a deal worth around €35 million.
Xhaka the reason for Arsenal loss, says the fans:
Granit Xhaka has become a main player in the Arsenal team since his arrival. He has featured in more than 40 matches every season. Xhaka is a proper midfielder, but the current crisis at Arsenal has made him change positions. After their natural player in that position, Kieran Tierney got injured in a match against Liverpool, Xhaka was made to cover his position for that match.
However, the lack of another left-back has made Mikel Arteta temporarily adjust with the Swiss international. Honestly, he has been doing well so far and the man himself said that he was willing to play anywhere if that helped the team. However, there were tons of criticisms after he completely flopped in that position against Villarreal.
Arsenal’s hope for a European seat next season can only be achieved if they win the Europa League. No hopes can be kept in the Premier League as they currently sit 10th. Keeping that in mind, they visited Villarreal which was also a reunion with their former boss, Unai Emery.
It was a happy one for Unai as his side won 2-1. However, the fans think that the outcome could have been different if Granit Xhaka hadn’t performed awfully. In the first goal, they conceded, instead of engaging the opposition he fell back into the box which was scored by Manu Trigueros.
Similarly, the second goal, Xhaka failed to react swiftly inside the penalty box, because of which Raul Albiol scored without much trouble. His overall performance was disappointing given the fact he played as a defender.
Along with these errors, he failed to record a single clearance or record a block. Out of the three duels made, he lost two of them and lost the ball possession 16 times.