In a recent tweet, respected journalist Andreas Böni offered a worrying update on Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka’s injury. It was revealed that the Gunners midfield ace suffered a ruptured inner ligament in his right knee which could rule him out for six to eight weeks.
Erste Diagnose: Granit Xhaka hat einen Innenbandriss im rechten Knie erlitten. Er fällt mindestens 6 bis 8 Wochen aus. Weitere Untersuchungen stehen an – aber ein Kreuzbandriss kann ausgeschlossen werden pic.twitter.com/xo1w9VtppU
— Andreas Böni (@AndreasBoeni) September 28, 2021
Xhaka’s Recent Form For The Gunners
The Basel-born talent played an instrumental role in Arsenal’s excellent 3-1 derby win over Tottenham Hotspur last weekend but it came at a big price as he ended up picking up a serious knee injury. Hence, this latest development (if accurate) will be a bitter pill to swallow for anyone associated with the North London club just when Xhaka was finally starting to win over some support because of his growing influence at the centre of Mikel Arteta’s midfield.
The 29-year-old had a long and grueling season at the Emirates Stadium recently as he struggled to help the Gunners be consistent in the Premier League. Xhaka made 45 appearances for his current employers in the previous campaign, registering one goal and two assists in all competitions.
However, the Swiss international deserves a pat on the back for anchoring the midfield well after he averaged 1.6 tackles, 0.8 interceptions and 1.2 clearances per 90 minutes in the 2020-21 Premier League season. He even distributed the ball accurately from midfield based on his pass success rate of 90.2% in the English top tier (stats via whoscored).
Xhaka Set To Be Sidelined For Six To Eight Weeks: Big Blow For Arteta?
Xhaka is a tough-tackling midfielder who enjoys using his robust 1.86m frame to make life difficult for the opposition at the centre of the park. He can make a few important interceptions when he is playing well on the field. The 98-time Switzerland international is proficient at spotting the danger quickly and dealing with it by putting his foot through the ball when needed. However, Xhaka can be quite slow with his movement and takes a lot of time on the ball which can sometimes make him a liability on the field.
Arsenal’s lack of quality in midfield was quite alarming in the early stages of this campaign. However, their fortunes seemed to have turned for the better in the London derby which was partly down to the Swiss talent’ excellent contributions.
If Xhaka’s performance in that game was anything to go by, his injury absence will be a massive blow for the Gunners as he remains one of their best leaders on the pitch. Arteta would now have to figure out a way to get the best out of his players during Xhaka’s absence which will be easier said than done.