Arsenal’s opening day 4-3 defeat by Liverpool exposed their defence, as The RedsA�exploit Gunners half at will.
While a lot many could point out to the fact that Arsenal was missing theirA� three best centre-backs: Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista were injured, Laurent Koscielny was not match fit and started the game with young back four, who wasA�lacking enough experience to start a big game. but, opening game also reflects A�lack of adequate midfield cover in front of them.
Granit Xhaka, who was expected to start the game in place ofA�Mohamed Elneny came on A�as a substitute for Elneny.
The Swiss international, who arrivedA�from Borussia Monchengladbach, has become the cluba��s third most expensive transfer of all time and onlyA�major signing made by Gunners A�so far,
made Arsenal’s central midfield even more crowded, asA�six players essentially fighting for two spots. The 23-year-old made his Premier League debut for Arsenal coming onA�as a 67th minute substitute, the young midfielder got all the potential in the world to start the game,A�as he bringsA�quality in the middle of the park, A�which Gunners were lacking on Sunday.
After losing three experiencedA�midfielders in Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini and Tomas Rosicky,A�Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Granit Xhaka in what has proven to be a rare piece of early business from Arsene Wenger. The midfielder got experience at the international level as he has more than 40A�caps for Switzerland and was a regular starter for Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga.A�XhakaA�is an extremely talented young prospect, who has been named as the nextA�Schweinsteiger by Swiss coach Hitzfeld as the style of play of Xhaka is almost identical to former German captain. Within his shot-span of time on field on first match he showed great passing accuracy and was very strong in tackle.
Having strong left foot, which gives Xhaka to target from distance and possessing the ability to switch play quickly, he is a naturalA�A�ball winning midfielder too.
Xhaka have very good Euro Held in France recently as he won all man of the matches awards inA�A�all group stage matches but missed a penalty under pressure in the Round of 16 match against Poland. His only weakness is discipline, which Arsene Wenger will surely work on.
AsA�the inury of Per Mertesacker and Gabriel added to Arsenal’s defensive woes, A�with his tackling and interception abilities, Xhaka A�canA�provide much neededA�coverA�to the Arsenal defence.
Xhaka could be preferred over Francis Coquelin asA�he can orchestrate attacks from the deep as well.
Mohamed Elneny needs to step up his game:
On the other hand,A�January signing Mohammed Elneny could be a sidekick worth exploring by Wenger. WithA�his energy on the field with controlled aggression,A�He has been eased into the starting XI by Arsene Wenger. The Egyptian who bolsters a 93% passing accuracy could complementA�the more creative likes of Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere.A�Elneny could also be deployed as a shield in front of the back four in a changed formation that would bring out his best game.
Xhaka and Elneny combination is on card in the big games asA�Ramsey expected to be out for a month or more with a hamstring injury.A�Santi Cazorla is the other option, who could be paired with Xhaka.The Spaniard was key to allowing Ozil to thrive in the early stages of the previous season and the discipline he showed in a deeper role.
Xhaka did not have dream debut A�Premier League match as he made record ofA�committing A�four fouls; the highest for any player on the opening weekend of the Premier League. He also picked yellow card and all of his tackles were unsuccessful.
Xhaka came as a replacement when Liverpool were dominating the match andA�leading 4-2.A�Arsenal needed to regain control of the midfield with Liverpool clearly turning on the style with Coutinho, Firmino and Mane running riot. Xhaka did not adapt properly to the pace of the game, which was expected from the player like him.
Xhaka is a quality player who, given ample amount of time, could turn into the midfield engine that Arsenal would dearly love to have.
Having said that, the Swiss international needs to improveA�on his debut performance.A� Similar hopes will rest on his fellow teammateA�Elneny, considering that he has already had his settling in period in the Premier League.