Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has many detractors among the Gunners’ fanbase but he was given the opportunity to show what he can do for Switzerland against England last night.
The midfielder took control of the game, but he was admittedly less effective in the second half as the Three Lions improved on a poor first-half display.
Fans on Twitter were typically split about Xhaka’s performance at the King Power Stadium yesterday.
Not a bad display from Granit Xhaka against England tonight. 111 touches, 98 passes (the most in the game out of both sides) With a total of 94% pass accuracy. Also provided 3 key passes and made 3 interceptions. Classy display, one for the haters. ???? pic.twitter.com/V0r1yB1xIM
— Ä (@MyGuyMesut) 11 September 2018
Don’t bother with stats. The haters don’t care about them, “they’re only for nerds”.
Put in a great performance tonight.
— Top Bin (@topbin_football) 11 September 2018
As have said many times he is a fine player and is developing well …so not listen to agenda driven pundits/journos
— Ian (@anarsenalchap) 11 September 2018
Was refreshing to see Xhaka dominating the game vs England like that. That’s the player we know he is and capable to do the some with #arsenal now that has a proper CDM beside him #LTorreira34 . Looking forward to see both of them pairing up this weekend against Newcastle.
— Mike Andreou (@LACABALLERO9) 12 September 2018
Xhaka dominating the whole England midfield.
— Richard (@richardbrown31) 11 September 2018
A few supporters don’t think the 25-year-old should start for Arsenal:
He’s a liability to the team regardless of the amount of sideways and backways passes he makes? The position he plays in it’s inevitable he gets on the ball that much and gets that amount of touches… doesn’t improve Arsenal at all
— Craig Vaughan (@craigvaughan498) 11 September 2018
England are allowing Granit Xhaka to run the midfield. Granit Xhaka. Or Grant, as my laptop keeps correcting him to.
— Simon Collings (@sr_collings) 11 September 2018
I knew I seriously missed out on doing a “Watch England turn Xhaka into peak Pirlo tonight” tweet this morning
— James Ash???? (@jamesash89) 11 September 2018
Thats the only argument Xhaka fans can ever come up with. ‘You dont get football’ everytime. What im saying is last night England were passive and allowed the Swiss 3 or 4 touches on the ball, i expect any premier league midfielder to have high pass success in those circumstances
— NkC (@NketiahChron) 12 September 2018
For many Gunners fans, Xhaka will always be a divisive figure. Some question whether he has the ability to play the holding midfield role, especially in the Premier League. Those who criticise him say he can be caught too much on the ball, his passing is not always on point and he doesn’t provide enough goals or assists.
Still, with Arsene Wenger and now Unai Emery both having shown faith in the Swiss international, he clearly has something that managers appreciate.