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'Turned the game': Keown wowed by one Arsenal player's display today, was very critical of him in the past

Arsenal legend Martin Keown has praised Granit Xhaka for his impressive display against Manchester United on Saturday.

The Highbury icon, speaking on BT Sport, acknowledged he has been “very critical of him” in the past.

Indeed, Xhaka has dealt with a lot of criticism at Arsenal over the years, but he’s still fighting, playing and winning.

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The Switzerland international has been at the Emirates since his £30million move from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016.

He is closing in on 250 competitive appearances, but his time at Arsenal, as everyone knows, hasn’t been smooth sailing.

Earlier this month, Xhaka revealed he came close to leaving the Gunners following his clash with the club’s fans in 2019.

Nonetheless, Mikel Arteta remains a big fan of the player.

And on Saturday, the 29-year-old impressed in the win over the beleaguered Red Devils.

Xhaka’s experience helped Arsenal through their tricky period early in the second half, when they were 2-1 up.

He also capped off the win with a sublime third, and Keown sung the player’s praises (23/4/22, 2:40pm).

“There have been a lot of misgivings on this player, and I’ve been very critical of him.

“Two and a half years ago, 60,000 people booed him off here, but he just won’t go away.

“He stood up today and scored this and it turned the game.”

Xhaka continues to split opinion amongst Arsenal fans, but he certainly knows how and when to step up.

Arteta is known for demanding the right attitude from his players and getting rid if they don’t match his standards.

Given Xhaka continues to be in the Spaniard’s plans, it shows he’s doing something right.

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