Xhaka reveals injury issue which will have impacted on Arsenal form

Comments()
Getty Images
The Switzerland international midfielder has faced criticism at times this season, but he claims to have been carrying a knock “for a few weeks now”

Granit Xhaka claims to have been carrying a knock for “a few weeks” at Arsenal, with an Achilles complaint impacting on his form over the early weeks of the season.

The Switzerland international midfielder has come in for criticism again at Emirates Stadium.

He has struggled to convince many over the course of a three-year spell in north London, with questions continuing to be asked of his temperament.

Another reckless lunge inside his own penalty area during a north London derby date with Tottenham almost cost Arsenal dear, with Unai Emery’s side having to battle back from two goals down to snatch a point.

Xhaka, though, has revealed that a fitness issue which he is now clear of has been holding him back.

He told reporters while away on Euro 2020 qualifying duty: "I’ve been suffering from Achilles tendon pain for a few weeks now. I felt it during the game.

"It hurts now, but it should be okay otherwise."

Xhaka has been able to call upon the support of his manager during a testing start to 2019-20, with Emery shrugging off any mistakes, but Arsenal icon Ian Wright has suggested that the 26-year-old’s place may come under threat at some stage in the near future.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: "He shouldn't be named captain, he should be focusing on his own game.

"The captaincy and all the responsibility that comes with that, he makes the mistakes that, if I'm on the pitch and Tony Adams is on the pitch making mistakes like that, I'm thinking 'what are you doing?!'.

Article continues below

"He made so many fouls [against Spurs], he could have easily been sent off. I saw [Matteo] Guendouzi make a challenge in the box where he saw the danger, started to ease over to him and he intercepted it.

"He doesn't recognise danger, Xhaka. I do feel like we've come to the stage where Joe Willock is pushing him, Guendouzi is definitely pushing him, picking up the ball from deep and doing the job that he's doing and alongside David Luiz, whatever anyone says about him, he sprays some unbelievable balls.

"The fact is, I think he slows it down now."

Close