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Arsenal icon warns error-prone Xhaka that Willock is gunning for his spot

13:50 BST 03/09/2019
Granit Xhaka Arsenal 2019-20
Ian Wright feels another questionable performance from the Swiss midfielder in a derby date with Tottenham will see others targeting his place

Granit Xhaka has been warned that his place in the Arsenal side is under serious threat, with Ian Wright considering Joe Willock to be a leading contender to replace an error-prone performer.

Questions have been asked of a fiery Swiss midfielder throughout his time at Emirates Stadium after he arrived from Borussia Monchengladbach with a reputation for collecting cards and being a little reckless.

Little has changed during a spell in north London, with Xhaka’s latest outing seeing him concede a needless penalty with an ill-advised lunge during a derby date with Tottenham.

Arsenal legend Wright believes the 26-year-old may soon find it difficult to justify ongoing inclusion in Unai Emery’s plans, despite him having been being placed in a group of skippers.

The Gunners icon told Radio 5 Live of Xhaka: "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?!'.

"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."

Xhaka conceded seven fouls against Spurs, while also giving the ball away on 11 occasions.

Arsenal were still able to battle their way back from a two-goal deficit to salvage a 2-2 draw, but that point was secured in spite of their Switzerland international enforcer, rather than because of him.

Emery does have a number of midfield talents at his disposal and has already shown this season that he is prepared to put his trust in youngsters such as Willock, Guendouzi and Reiss Nelson.