Twitter reacts as Granit Xhaka plays as a left-back once again
Granit Xhaka has once again been tasked to play as a make-shift left-back after injuries to Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac. In the first match that the duo missed out, Stephan Lichtsteiner was asked to fill in the position against Leicester City.
In the second half, after Unai Emery withdrew the 34-year-old Swiss, Xhaka started to play in the defence. Then, when the Gunners played Sporting in Portugal on Thursday night, the 26-year-old was named in the starting eleven as a full-back.
In his first season with the Gunners, Xhaka had angered many Arsenal fans with his rash tackles on the pitch. His reckless actions had earnt him a number of red cards and left fans wondering if Arsene Wenger was right to buy him.
Now, with injuries to the preferred left-backs, Emery seemed to have found another player in the team who can play in the defence. The Swiss captain is certainly extremely experienced at the back, but his favoured position is on the right and against a Premier League team, he might not have the stamina to play the whole match.
Starting the former Bundesliga man as a defender is not a bad decision. First, it can help the Swiss develop his vision of the game. As a defensive midfielder, Xhaka has to know how to protect his defenders. Now, he has a chance to play as a defender and will certainly learn how midfielders can better help him. Second, the make-shift defender has the ability to provide dangerous crosses into the box or spark a counterattack with his powerful and accurate left foot.
The Spanish manager prefers playing from the back and Xhaka can definitely play a role in that. Whenever the ball gets to him, he has the opportunity to move up into the midfield and deliver the ball to the rest of his attacking team-mates. This unexpected series of injuries to both Monreal and Kolasinac looks to be a superb opportunity for Xhaka to learn more about the game from a different perspective.
Crystal Palace have fast forwards in the game and Arsenal fans are worried that the inexperienced player could suffer. Here was how Twitter reacted to the news.