Tim Sherwood amazed by Granit Xhaka's transformation at Arsenal
Xhaka has been one of the surprises of the campaign. Of course, Arsenal are absolutely flying right now and Mikel Arteta’s men find themselves five points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table.
They have been superb all over the pitch. The Gunners boast the joint-best defensive record, with just 11 goals conceded. Meanwhile, nine different players have scored more than once.
Granit Xhaka has been brilliant
But perhaps the biggest revelation of the lot has been Xhaka. Obviously, the Swiss appeared to be on the brink of never playing for the club again a couple of years ago. And the journey back was hardly a swift one.
But everything seems to have clicked for Xhaka. He has been outstanding in a midfield three alongside Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard. And that prompted Sherwood to name the 30-year-old in his Premier League team of the season.
“I’m going for Granit Xhaka- the turnaround of his character and his performances. I put him in holding midfield, but it’s probably wrong because that’s probably where he’s not very reliable,” he told talkSPORT.
“He’s been brilliant going further forward, like he does for Switzerland. I’ve got to have him in because of the transformation of where he was and where he’s come back to.”
Obviously, formations do not mean a great deal in combined XIs. But you do see pundits try to give their teams some kind of balance when they pick these sides.
So it says a huge amount that Sherwood simply had to get Xhaka in to acknowledge his form – even if he is not picked in his best role.
But he absolutely deserves the pick. And if he maintains this form for the rest of the season, Arsenal are most definitely going to be in the mix for the title come the business end.
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