Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino says Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has lost some speed and that is hampering his ability to tackle opponents.
In the Times, Cascarino criticised Xhaka after the 1-1 draw against Sheffield United this weekend, pointing out how poor his tackling stats are.
He said: “Persistent fouling is proving a problem for Granit Xhaka. The Arsenal midfielder has been penalised 38 times this season, second only to Aston Villa’s Wesley with 43, and averages a foul every 38 minutes.
“These are not tactical fouls. More often than not his tackles are reckless and ill-timed.
“He has lost half a yard of pace and is too late to challenges. He was booked against Sheffield United on Saturday and was lucky to stay on the pitch against Crystal Palace. It is a big problem for Mikel Arteta.”
TBR’s View – Xhaka’s tackling has been a problem during his entire Arsenal spell
At 27, it’s perhaps unlikely Xhaka has lost pace, as Cascarino argued.
His tackling has been reckless and persistently poor throughout his Arsenal career and that is a problem which he has never got to grips with.
In truth, it’s pretty much undermined his Gunners career and there has been no obvious appetite or aptitude to change that, under Arsene Wenger, Unai Emery and now Arteta.
That makes it imperative that Arteta finds a new holding midfielder as soon as he possibly can.