Paul Merson sends message to Arsenal fans about Granit Xhaka

Paul Merson believes that Granit Xhaka's absence against Liverpool FC highlighted his importance for Arsenal

Paul Merson
Arsenal legend Paul Merson (Photo: Sky Sports)

Paul Merson believes that Granit Xhaka’s absence against Liverpool FC proves how important the midfielder is to the current Arsenal team.

The Switzerland international sat out Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat by the Reds at The Emirates on Saturday night due to illness after having been a regular fixture in the starting line-up for much of the campaign.

Arsenal were thoroughly outplayed by the Reds on Saturday night as goals from Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah wrapped up a comfortable win for Jurgen Klopp’s men.

The 28-year-old Xhaka has started 24 of Arsenal’s 30 games in the Premier League so far this season and Merson feels that the Gunners clearly missed the midfielder on Saturday.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Merson said: “The defeat by Liverpool just goes to show you how good Granit Xhaka is. He became a better player not playing against Liverpool.

“People say to me they don’t know what Xhaka does. He doesn’t score goals, he doesn’t make goals and gets booked and all that, but give him his due, what was glaring to see in Arsenal’s defeat is that he wants the ball.

“He looks for the ball. In times of trouble he will always try and get on the ball and that’s what they didn’t have. No-one was showing for the ball and in the end, the goalkeeper was just booting the ball.

“Honestly, it was mind blowing.”

Xhaka has scored one goal and made two assists in 25 Premier League appearances for the Gunners so far this season.

Arsenal will return to Premier League action on Sunday when they travel to face strugglers Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

They will then face Fulham, Everton and Newcastle United in their next three Premier League games.

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