Time To Get Rid Of Granit Xhaka & Shkodran Mustafi?

In the third League Cup Final of his career, Arsène Wenger lost once again. In 2011, his team were humiliated by a relegation-riddled Birmingham City team, this time they were completely outclassed by Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City team. The defeat showcased how big the gulf has widened between Arsenal and the best team in England. In the past, it was the Gunners who were seen as the pinnacle of English football, now we are a laughing-stock.

Losing 3-0 in a cup final is unacceptable but failing to give your opponents a game is even worse. These Arsenal players let Arsène Wenger down again and it is time for some of them to face the repercussions. Shkodran Mustafi and Granit Xhaka cost Arsenal a combined £70m in summer 2016, a season and a half later, it’s fair to say neither has impressed in Arsenal colours.

Shkodran Mustafi was hyped as a World Cup Winner and mature young talent before coming. In fact, many went on record to say that the German was one of the best defensive prospects in world football. Now look, the 25-year-old is arguably the worst defender in the Premier League. Now it’s become evidently clear why Everton released him a few years ago.

In his performances this season, the German has proved himself to be rash, incompetent and defensively naïve. This is in complete contrast to his defensive partner Laurent Koscielny who oozes composure and astuteness. It’s time for Arsène Wenger to cut his losses with Mustafi because there’s no place for him anymore at a top club. He simply doesn’t belong at this level and his mere presence on the pitch has cost us on several occasions.

I am certain that if a new manager comes in the summer, he will be sending Shkodran Mustafi to the exit door. Why? Because he’s clearly not good enough to be called an Arsenal player.  We’ve had defenders like Philippe Senderos, Johan Djourou& Pascal Cygan embarrass us in the past, now we can add Shkodran Mustafi to that list.

Granit Xhaka has been no better. The Swiss international was brought to not only improve the defensive solidity of Arsenal’s midfield but to also help the Gunners dictate games through the middle. Granit Xhaka has done neither, in fact, he’s worsened Arsenal in both those departments.

The 25-year-old’s performances have showcased his poor positioning, his inability to tackle and ineffectiveness in creating chances. Xhaka has only averaged 1.7 tackles per game this season, that’s abysmal for the last line of protection for the defence. Granit Xhaka performances in an Arsenal shirt have only be remembered when he’s been sent off, apart from that, he’s performed to the level of a Championship player.

It’s a wonder as to why Arsenal sold Francis Coquelin in the January window, he may not have had the best passing attributes, but he’s just as effective if not more than Granit Xhaka. Can you name three attributes Granit Xhaka excels at? Me neither.

There’s no way we can recoup the £35million we paid for Granit Xhaka, but we should still try to offload him while interest is relatively high. At the bare minimum, Arsenal just need a defensive midfielder that can do the basics like; hold his position and offer protection off the ball, not leave us wide open. Bottom line, Granit Xhaka isn’t good enough for Arsenal football club and the sooner we get rid of him, the better.


Words by Adam Keys -  A freelance football journalist who enjoys away days more than Christmas, and has endless Arsenal related opinions and a response for anything you throw at him. As a Journalism graduate, and an experienced football and music writer, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge to the team at thestepanovs.com.

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