Arsenal legend Ian Wright has claimed that Mikel Arteta has improved the form of maligned duo Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi.
Both players have featured heavily for the Gunners over the course of the Spaniard’s reign at the club with the Swiss midfielder having started all but one Premier League game, while the German has featured in each of the last four games across all competitions.
Appearing on BBC 5 Live Sport, Wright was full of praise for the duo, who have been booed by supporters of the red half of north London during games against Crystal Palace and Olympique Lyonnais. He said: “He’s turned Xhaka right around. He’s got something out of Mustafi – Mustafi played well against Burnley the other day. Things are happening, but it’s going to take its time.” (Source: BBC 5 Live Sport)
The former frontman isn’t wrong in his assessment of the pair, who have been in barnstorming form for the north London outfit over the course of last few games. Take Xhaka’s performance against Chelsea as an example. With the Gunners down a goal and a man, he was asked to play as a make-shift centre-half as he put in a quite brilliant performance, coming away with the second-most clearances (6) and joint-third most tackles (2) (via WhoScored).
Mustafi is also in the same boat as his fellow teammate with his last outing against Burnley earning him praise for Arteta (via The Mirror). The centre-half was in full-flow as he made an eye-opening nine clearances, five more than any of his teammates, and attempted the second-most passes (60).
The two players have been hit and miss during their time at the Emirates Stadium, however, it would be incredibly unfair to claim they haven’t become impressed of late. Whether they can improve on their showings is another matter, however, for now, Wright is right in his claims about how much they’ve got better.
Arsenal fans, do you agree with Wright’s comments? Join the discussion below!
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