Jermaine Jenas has claimed midfielder Granit Xhaka is an unsung hero in the Arsenal team and has been impressed by his form under manager Mikel Arteta.
The 27-year-old has developed into a mainstay in Arteta’s side alongside teammate Dani Ceballos and it will be no surprise if both start on Saturday evening against Chelsea in the FA Cup final.
Xhaka has had to deal with his fair share of criticism during his time at the Emirates Stadium and isn’t always the most pleasing player on the eye, but has become so important in Arteta’s system.
He is a deep-lying playmaker that is composed in possession and can pick a pass with his favoured left foot, plus is aggressive in the defensive side of his game too.
Pundit and ex-Tottenham midfielder Jenas has stuck up for the Switzerland international by stating his Arsenal form has gone under the radar recently.
“People don’t like Xhaka but if you look at what Xhaka has actually done since Mikel Arteta arrived, he’s been the stabiliser to absolutely everything in that team,” Jenas told BBC Radio 5 Live Sport.
“Xhaka has been solid in there, he’s not really put a foot wrong. To come back the way he has from all the stick he got, it’s a bit like Fred at Manchester United. Unsung hero.”
Xhaka has been particularly impressive since football restarted and will be one of several key players when it comes to Arsenal trying to overcome Chelsea in the FA Cup final.
There seems to be a great balance in the centre of the park right now, but that will be put to the test facing off at Wembley against the likes of N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount.
Xhaka has proven he can be a top player when he cuts individual errors out of his game and can play an important role moving forward, but it’s the defensive areas of the pitch that desperately need addressing ahead of next season.