'Brilliant': Ian Wright so impressed with Arsenal player's passing this season, says he's been transformed
Ian Wright has been so impressed with Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka’s passing this season, telling the Kelly and Wrighty show that he’s been transformed as a player.
Xhaka has benefitted from playing in a more advanced role in the Gunners midfield during the current campaign.
The 30-year-old has put in some eye-catching displays alongside Thomas Partey, who’s role gives him the licence to roam forward more often.
The Swiss international has already registered two goals and three assists from central midfield in the Premier League this season. His latest goal secured a 3-1 win over bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur too.
But Wright has been particularly impressed by Xhaka’s range of passing in the Arsenal midfield.
Wright impressed with Xhaka’s passing
He said: “Delighted for him and the way it’s gone. The amount of managers that have had faith in his ability and what he can do, to finally see him doing it under Mikeil [Arteta]. He’s obviously recognised he needs to be pushed further forward.
“If you put Granit Xhaka in a more defensive role with that kind of responsibility as a player who doesn’t really take people on, he hasn’t got that kind of skill and he hasn’t got that pace to get away from people.
“What we found is there were silly fouls, bookings and giving the ball away. Obviously that’s not where he should have been playing. Thank God Mikel found it for him because he’s so potent.”
Xhaka has been heavily criticised during his time at Arsenal, particularly for making errors while playing in a deeper midfield role.
But Arteta has certainly found a way to get the best out of the player and he’s been a standout performer for the Gunners this season. And Wright feels his passing has been his standout attribute.
“He’s playing in a more advanced position, he’s getting the ball when he’s got a bit more time on it and he’s got the capability to pass it through lines,” he added.
“He’s got a great cross and now we’re seeing the best from him. I’m really pleased for him, it’s been a brilliant transformation.”
Arteta will be hoping the midfielder can continue his brilliant form over the coming weeks. The Gunners currently sit top of the Premier League and Xhaka has played a pivotal role in their early success.
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