Mikel Arteta hints Granit Xhaka could play when Arsenal face Juventus
Mikel Arteta has suggested – in comments posted on Arsenal’s official website – that Granit Xhaka could play against Juventus this weekend, with the midfielder willing to be selected for their final mid-season friendly.
The Gunners have won the Dubai Super Cup after a 2-1 victory over AC Milan on Tuesday. Martin Odegaard and Reiss Nelson bagged the two goals for Arteta’s men, who had already beaten Lyon in the mini tournament.
Arsenal have one final friendly to play before they return to Premier League action on Boxing Day. They host Juventus at the Emirates on Saturday as the World Cup approaches its conclusion.
Xhaka could play against Juventus
Of course, the tournament has had a big downside for Arsenal. Gabriel Jesus is facing several months on the sidelines after undergoing surgery on a knee injury sustained while playing for Brazil.
That is a huge blow for the Gunners. But there is better news when it comes to Xhaka.
The midfielder made a swift return to training after Switzerland were knocked out. And following the win over Milan, Arteta suggested that he is ready to feature against Juve.
“That’ll take a few more days. Granit is already here, and is training and willing to participate on the weekend, so we don’t have that many away now so that is a positive thing,” he said, as reported by the club’s official website.
Xhaka deserves a lot of credit for getting back into the fold so quickly. Certainly, there are likely to be a number of players who reached the knockout stages of the World Cup and thus, will not be available on Boxing Day.
And Xhaka had more reason than most to take time off after the disappointment of Switzerland’s defeat to Portugal. He was actually one of his nation’s better players that night.
He has been absolutely superb for Arsenal this season. So it is fantastic news that he is already back in contention.