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Arsenal boss explains why this player hasn’t started recently
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has explained why Granit Xhaka hasn’t started in recent weeks with the boss suggesting he’s giving the midfielder time to adjust to life in England.
Xhaka arrived in the summer in a £35m deal from Borussia Mönchengladbach and many expected him to be an automatic starter at the base of our midfield.
I mean, it’s not every day Wenger splashes out that kind of money so it was safe to assume that the boss must REALLY have wanted the Swiss international having spent in excess of £30m on him.
However, Xhaka has started just 5 of our 12 Premier League games so far and 2 of our 5 Champions League games leaving fans scratching their heads as to why Wenger hasn’t been picking him regularly.
The boss has now been speaking to Arsenal.com and admitted that Xhaka may not have started enough so far this season but suggests he’s still adapting to life in English football and adjusting to Arsenal’s style of play.
Wenger told the clubs website:
“I’m very happy with Granit’s commitment, I think he’s developing well. He hasn’t maybe started enough since the start of the season but he is adapting to a different league, a different way of playing. Overall I’m happy because every day he’s focused on working hard and I’m confident he’ll get his number of games.
“In November you see the first signs of players who need a little breather, especially in areas where you fight and run a lot. I try to combine both to give players fresh legs and also get around the fact that Santi’s not there.”
With Santi Cazorla out for the last six weeks with an achilles injury, I personally thought this was the perfect time for Xhaka to establish himself in the starting eleven so it’s been disappointing to see him left out.
Obviously his red card against Swansea didn’t help his cause but I certainly think we could have done with him during recent games with Manchester United and PSG given our lack of deep-lying playmaker.
However, I do understand that it takes some players a while to adapt to a new league so hopefully we’ll see Granit given more opportunities to impress over the coming weeks, starting against Bournemouth on Sunday!