Martin Keown names Arsenal star who should replace Granit Xhaka at Tottenham

The Arsenal legend wants Arsene Wenger to start Jack Wilshere ahead of Granit Xhaka for Saturday's north London derby

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka Photo: Granit Xhaka / Instagram

Martin Keown has urged Arsene Wenger to leave Granit Xhaka out of his Arsenal team to face Tottenham Hotspur in the north London derby on Saturday.

The Gunners will make the short trip across the English capital looking to build on their 5-1 win against Everton at The Emirates last weekend.

Jack Wilshere came off the bench for Arsenal’s landslide win against the Toffees despite his impressive performances in recent months in Aaron Ramsey’s absence.

Xhaka has struggled to make a positive impression at Arsenal since his £35m move to The Emirates from Bundesliga giants Borussia Monchengladbach in the 2016 summer transfer window.

The Switzerland international has cost the Gunners points this season with his lack of discipline in a holding midfield role.

With Arsenal facing a tough battle to break into the top four following an inconsistent season so far, the Gunners can ill-afford to drop points at Tottenham.

Retired England international Keown urged Wenger to start Wilshere ahead of Xhaka to help Arsenal compete with Tottenham’s powerful midfield.

“If Arsene Wenger’s objective is to win the game by dominating possession, then he should play Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey in midfield,” Keown told the Daily Mail.

“Granit Xhaka is not doing the defensive job Arsenal would have expected after paying £35million for him. Manchester United lost the midfield battle at Wembley last week and Wenger won’t want that vision of Xhaka struggling to retain the ball.

“If it is not going to work with Xhaka in midfield then why not take the game to Tottenham and play with total possession?

“I don’t see Jack as any less defensive than Xhaka. Wilshere is the better player, and the better player has to play.”

Tottenham were 2-0 winners against Manchester United at Wembley after Mauricio Pochettino’s midfield won the battle against Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba.

Liverpool FC surrendered a first-half lead to draw 2-2 with Spurs last weekend following a dominant performance from Moussa Dembele and Victor Wanyama in the middle of the park.

MORE: Latest Arsenal news and views

MORE: Football transfer rumours and gossip


MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

The Sport Review
Frank Lampard sends message to Chelsea FC fans about Eden Hazard
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 40 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 25 footballers’ cars: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid players feature
The Sport Review
Top 20 Nigerian footballers in Premier League: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Arsenal player wages 2017: Do you know how much Xhaka, Ozil and Coquelin earn each week?
Dubai 2018
The Sport Review
Dubai 2018: Defending champion Svitolina sets repeat SF showdown with Kerber
The Sport Review
Arsene Wenger delivers Mesut Ozil update ahead of Arsenal v Man City final
The Sport Review
Steven Gerrard raves about ‘top class’ Chelsea FC star