Last season, Xhaka had arguably his best performance in an Arsenal shirt. Together they were very close to winning the Premier League title, before losing steam and being surpassed by Man City. The Swiss player’s plan to leave the Emirates was made in advance, and he left to find a new challenge at Leverkusen in the 2023 summer transfer window.
The Gunners signed Kai Havertz to replace Xhaka, but the German is struggling and Arsenal are unable to fill the void left by the Leverkusen star.
After seeing Arsenal’s unbeaten streak interrupted by Newcastle United, Gibbs believes Mikel Arteta’s team is missing a leader like Xhaka: “I think they really miss Xhaka. Honestly, the season ago, he had perhaps his best season in a long time at Arsenal.
I don’t think Xhaka was underrated last season. I just think he should be appreciated more for what he did. Xhaka is a really important link. He brings balance, especially when Oleksandr Zinchenko arrived and played with the tendency to stick in the middle instead of running along the sideline. That gives Xhaka a different role. I actually think he has a bigger impact on the team than people think.”
Minh Tuan | 07:04 November 6, 2023