Arsenal: James McNicholas claims Granit Xhaka has new midfield role higher up the pitch

Image for Arsenal: James McNicholas claims Granit Xhaka has new midfield role higher up the pitch

Football journalist James McNicholas has claimed that Granit Xhaka’s ‘role is changing’ at Arsenal to allow him to play higher up the pitch. 

After suffering an MCL injury earlier in the season, the Swiss midfielder missed a lot of football before returning in the Gunners’ 2-1 loss against Everton.

Since then, he has started every Premier League game in Arsenal’s midfield. This was again the case in the club’s most recent match, an impressive 5-0 win over Norwich City.

However, Xhaka’s positioning in that game left McNicholas claiming that the 29-year-old is being asked to play in a more advanced role by Mikel Arteta.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, the writer said: “I think Xhaka’s role is changing a little bit. He’s playing a little bit higher up the pitch. He did that lot today, so that’s something to watch.” 

TIF Thoughts on Granit Xhaka and Arsenal…

Xhaka is clearly a trusted player within the Arsenal squad in the eyes of Arteta. Indeed, the midfielder has started every league game this season when he has been available.

To be fair to the club’s former captain, his impact has been pretty successful, with the Gunners winning five of the six games in all competitions since Xhaka came back from injury.

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This solid form sees Arsenal currently up in the Champions League places in the table in fourth spot.

Who knows, perhaps Arteta’s plan is to get the Switzerland star higher up the field to help his side dominate the play more in the opposition’s half. It certainly doesn’t seem likely that he’d want Xhaka on the end of more chances – after all, he has scored only 13 times across 231 appearances in north London.

In other news: ‘Arsenal are looking at’ – Charles Watts tips AFC to pursue target who’s ‘looking for a move’

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