Why Arsenal man Granit Xhaka would thrive at Liverpool
Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy has claimed that Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka could become a better player if he moved to Anfield.
Xhaka had a blockbuster fallout with Arsenal fans when he was subbed off during the draw with Crystal Palace in November. The 27-year-old tore off his shirt and jeered the home crowd as he made his way down the tunnel, actions which saw former manager Unai Emery strip him of the captaincy. Xhaka has since been handed a fresh start by new boss Mikel Arteta.
Liverpool undoubtedly have some very accomplished central midfielders on their books — Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Wijnaldum — but Xhaka could add some necessary steel that currently seems lacking. He is a strong leader, despite his youth, and is always capable of scoring the odd screamer.
But he is still only a young man and the former Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp can iron out the petulant and irresponsible side of the Swiss international’s game. Along with Fabinho and Henderson, Xhaka could make up an excellent central midfield trio for Liverpool next season.
Xhaka has been delivering rather poor performances for the Gunners in recent months and is infamous for his outrageous conflict with the fans during his captaincy at Arsenal.
He joined the Gunners from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016 and has since gone on to appear in 152 matches for the club across all competitions. The 27-year-old has struggled to endear himself to the fanbase during that time, with questions asked over his modest contribution in the middle of the park.
Liverpool’s midfield of late, meanwhile, has looked far more solid with Henderson and Fabinho becoming the anchor of Jurgen Klopp’s side, although injuries to Fabinho and Naby Keita – and a fresh issue for James Milner – have forced Klopp to re-jig his team. But the Reds still lack a midfield enforcer.
Xhaka has earned Arteta’s trust and the Gunners have done well recently – including a 2-0 win over Manchester United on New Year’s Day and a 1-0 victory against Leeds in the third round of the FA Cup.
Xhaka has been a fantastic player for Arsenal over the years. He is rash and prone to making unnecessary tackles but he runs the game in the centre of the park. Liverpool have Fabinho but the former Monaco man is more of a defensive midfielder and the Reds lack a midfield enforcer.
Xhaka perfectly fits the bill and since Klopp is known to increase the efficiency of players, the Swiss man would thrive under the German.