Arsene Wenger: This Arsenal midfielder is intelligent but can’t tackle
The Arsenal manager discusses Granit Xhaka's tackling ability after his recent red card
Arsene Wenger admits Granit Xhaka isn’t a great tackler despite hailing the Arsenal midfielder as an intelligent player.
The Switzerland international was sent off in the second half of Arsenal’s 2-1 win against promoted side Burnley at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.
Xhaka was dismissed for a two-footed tackle on Belgian midfielder Steven Defour in the second half which led to an uncomfortable final half hour for the home side against Sean Dyche’s men.
The summer signing has now been sent off twice in his Arsenal career after the defensive midfielder moved to the north London outfit in a £33m deal from Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach in the summer transfer window.
Speaking about Xhaka’s latest red card during his pre-match media conference ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Southampton in the FA Cup fourth round, Wenger discussed the midfielder’s tackling ability – or lack thereof.
“He is not naturally a great tackler. I think he is intelligent on the pitch. More the way he tackles is not convincing. I would encourage him not to tackle – to stay on his feet,” Wenger said.
Arsenal are in second place in the Premier League table and eight points adrift of current leaders Chelsea.