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'Xhaka would look a hell of a player at Liverpool' - Murphy believes Arsenal ace would fit in well at Anfield

12:02 EAT 08/01/2020
Granit Xhaka Arsenal 2019-20
A former Red doesn't think that the Swiss midfielder's style of play suits the Gunners because he can't show his qualities in a "struggling" team

Granit Xhaka "would look a hell of a player" at Liverpool, according to Danny Murphy, who thinks the Arsenal star is all too often caught out as a "passenger defensively" at Emirates Stadium.

Xhaka joined the Gunners from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016 and has since gone on to appear in 152 matches for the club across all competitions.

The 27-year-old has struggled to endear himself to the fanbase during that time, with questions asked over his modest contribution in the middle of the park.

His relationship with Arsenal's supporters hit a new low earlier this season, when he reacted angrily to abuse from the stands after being substituted in a 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace.

Unai Emery stripped Xhaka of his captaincy duties following the incident, and rumours of a transfer away from the Emirates have been swirling ever since.

After taking in a spell on the sidelines, the Switzerland international has emerged as a regular in Arsenal's starting XI once again under new boss Mikel Arteta, but his future at the club remains unclear.

Murphy doesn't believe that Xhaka's qualities are best suited to a team like the Gunners, due to a penchant for shirking his defensive duties.

The ex-Liverpool midfielder says the midfielder would fit in better at Anfield, where he would be able to show off his technical ability on a regular basis with plenty of support alongside him.

Murphy told Talk Sport: “If Xhaka was in Liverpool’s side with Henderson and Fabinho, he would look a hell of a player because he is technically good, a good passer, has a great shot on him and he has the ability with his great left foot to open you up.

“But when you are playing in a team that is struggling a bit, he is a passenger defensively and a liability.

“It is a dilemma for Mikel Arteta because he has a squad that needs a bit of tinkering.”

Xhaka will be back in contention for a place in Arteta's line up when Arsenal travel to Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace this Saturday.

The Gunners will likely be high on confidence after following up a 2-0 win over Manchester United on New Year's Day with a 1-0 victory against Leeds in the third round of the FA Cup on Monday.

Arsenal will be hoping to close the nine-point gap between themselves and fourth-placed Chelsea in the Premier League standings with another victory, before welcoming Sheffield United to the Emirates on January 18.