‘He is in a good place’: Mikel Arteta claims Arsenal have a player pushing the staff ‘so hard’ in training
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'He is in a good place': Mikel Arteta claims Arsenal have a player pushing the staff 'so hard' in training

Mikel Arteta has provided some exciting news for Arsenal supporters after suggesting that Granit Xhaka is looking set to be back from injury sooner than expected – in comments on the Gunners’ official website.

Xhaka has missed Arsenal’s last six Premier League games after sustaining a serious knee injury in the North London derby win over Tottenham back in September.

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

It had been feared that the Swiss would be absent until after the turn of the year. But it would appear that the 29-year-old is making significant progress.

Arteta has confirmed ahead of Saturday’s clash with Newcastle that Xhaka may not be out for quite as long as first feared.

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“Hopefully he will be a little bit sooner than expected,” he said, as confirmed on the official Arsenal website.

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

“He is training and pushing himself and all the staff so hard like he always does.

“He is in a good place, he is evolving well and hopefully we can have him a little bit earlier. It is still a bit early to decide.”

Xhaka return could be huge boost for Arsenal

Xhaka has had an interesting season so far. Of course, injury has ruled him out for much of it. He has also served a suspension following a red card in the loss to Manchester City.

But there were signs that the midfielder had turned a corner at Arsenal. He went into the season off the back of a superb showing at Euro 2020 with his country.

And he was outstanding in the victory over Tottenham at the Emirates.

Arsenal have continued to impress without him. Their loss to Liverpool at the weekend was their first defeat in nine in the top-flight.

But it does appear that Arsenal may benefit from having more of a presence in the middle of the park. Albert Sambi Lokonga and Thomas Partey had a difficult time at Anfield.

Xhaka is obviously a leader. There will still be times when he comes in for criticism. But there is no question that having him back sooner than expected could be a real plus for the Gunners.

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