Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown was full of praise for young midfielder Matteo Guendouzi’s performance in the 2-2 north London derby draw against Tottenham.
As per the Daily Mail, Keown speculated that Granit Xhaka’s days in the Gunners’ engine room could be numbered after the £40,000-a-week (Spotrac) Frenchman played perhaps as well as he ever has in a red and white shirt.
Keown said: “Matteo Guendouzi put in possibly the best performance I’ve seen from him in an Arsenal shirt. Lucas Torreira has to be a starter for me, and Dani Ceballos is looking good.
“Emery will have to look at the pros and cons and decide whether it is even worth persisting with Xhaka. I suspect Xhaka may be on borrowed time in this team. He could soon find himself behind others in the pecking order.”
TBR’s View – Guendouzi has a decent case to take Xhaka’s spot if he can find consistency
Guendouzi and Torreira with Dani Ceballos further forward would give Arsenal a combative, energetic midfield three more than capable of offering a springboard for their electric front three.
The issue is that Xhaka looks to have taken on a greater leadership role now that Laurent Koscielny has left the club and is a full international of greater experience than the young Frenchman.
But Guendouzi is able to channel his energy in the right way and if he can get a run of games together and keep his form up, he would become a genuine alternative and perhaps even an upgrade on Xhaka.