Granit Xhaka has improved in every single season since joining Arsenal, so here are three reasons he will be even better next year.
Most Arsenal fans these days are thinking about who this club can sign in the coming transfer window. Will we get Thomas Partey and revolutionize this midfield? Will we secure another centerback in addition to William Saliba and bolster this defense beyond all imagination? Will we keep Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang?
And when you start thinking about what next year means for players, most people are focused on a specific crop of players—Gabriel Martinelli, Kieran Tierney, Bukayo Saka. All the young guys that have shown so much potential this year.
Not many people are thinking about Granit Xhaka. Or, if they are, they’re thinking about selling him or replacing him. But not me. I’m thinking about why he’s going to be even better next year than he was this year, a year when he was even better than last year, a year when he was even better than the year before.
Other than just natural progression, here are three reasons he’s going to be even more improved next year than ever before. We start with No. 3.
3. Thomas Partey or a midfielder behind him.
The buzz around Thomas Partey is quickly turning into the story of the transfer window, even if we aren’t there yet. With Partey’s father weighing in that this is a very realistic possibility, fans are losing their minds. But even if this doesn’t happen, Arteta has made it clear that a holding midfielder is a top priority, and that means that no matter what happens, Xhaka is going to have a midfielder specifically dedicated to sitting behind him and defending.
Whenever Xhaka has that security behind him, his performance is so much better. He has the freedom to get forward, he has the security to look ahead and not worry so much about what’s going on behind him. And he’s less susceptible to being the guy that makes the mistake. He already is, it must be said, but even less so when he’s got someone behind him.
Onward and upward. No. 2 is next.