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Mikel Arteta called Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka a ‘leader’ after the Crystal Palace draw

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Photo by NEIL HALL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Arsenal

Mikel Arteta called Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka a ‘leader’ after the Crystal Palace draw

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta singled out midfielder Granit Xhaka for big praise after his performance on Thursday night.

The Gunners were unable to find a breakthrough in the Premier League fixture with Crystal Palace, as the teams finished 0-0 at the Emirates Stadium.

They now have 10 points from their last four league matches to signal an upturn in their season, but may be left disappointed they were unable to find a way through Palace’s defence.

Xhaka, 28, has been an ever-present lately in the Arsenal XI and he was heavily involved last night.

The Swiss central midfielder showed a couple of excellent defensive moments with some instinctive blocks and tackles, as he took up some great positions around his own box.

 

He may have lacked a bit of spark on the ball, but out of possession he did a great job screening the back four.

Arteta was extremely positive by Xhaka’s latest contribution:

“He’s progressing really well. He’s played a lot of minutes, he’s evolving the right way and he’s one of our leaders for sure. He had some really important moments today,” Arteta said, as quoted by the club’s official website.

Arsenal v Crystal Palace - Premier League

(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

TBR’s View:

Xhaka is certainly an individual that divides opinion in the Arsenal fanbase, but he’s certainly been a pivotal figure in the centre of the park.

Despite being inconsistent at times, the left-footed enforcer provides a presence in the midfield and keeps everything simple to allow the attackers in front of him to play their game.

It’ll be interesting to see how Arteta shapes his midfield with Thomas Partey coming back into the fold.

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