Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka gets surprise selection in team of the season

In somewhat of a surprising piece of news, Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has been selected in the team of the season by CIES Football.

CIES, also known as the Football Observatory, pick their team of the season every year. Their selections are based on a more data based approach, which essentially measures a player’s efficiency over the season.

Alongside the usual suspects such as Harry Kane and Ruben Dias, Xhaka was selected as one of the midfielders. This, despite Arsenal having a bit of a torrid season, and Xhaka himself coming in for criticism at times.

Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

The Swiss midfielder is one of a number of Arsenal players who face an uncertain future this summer. Xhaka reportedly earns around £100k-a-week, and could well be someone Mikel Arteta is open to losing.

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The Gunners are said to be keen on a number of new midfielders heading into the summer window. Sander Berge of Sheffield United has been mentioned, while Yves Bissouma of Brighton is another on the list.

Xhaka signed for Arsenal back in 2016 for a fee reported to be in the region of £35m. (BBC)

TBR’s View: This just shows, you can question the data

While there’re probably detailed metrics behind all this from CIES, it’s pretty obvious that Xhaka is not one of the best midfielders this season.

In fact, he’d surely be miles down many people’s lists, both in terms of his individual displays and also Arsenal’s overall efforts.

Xhaka is a steady enough player. Indeed, he probably gets some harsh critcism at times. But to include him in an XI for the best players of the season, is just a little bit bizarre.

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