Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has outlined the changes in Granit Xhaka’s game that has made him dangerous in front of goal.
Xhaka has seen a turnaround in his game under Arteta, which has resulted in a productive season, helping Arsenal to the top of the Premier League table with five goals and assists.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s fixture against Liverpool, the Arsenal boss says Xhaka has changed his mentality, which has helped him understand his positioning and other elements of his game.
“[Click] Mentality – feeling capable of doing it and understanding the way he needs to be positioned in the right moments, training and being in every single day, willing to improve and support the team in the area that, in our opinion, was very necessary to take another step forward in a way of playing and winning more games.”
Xhaka joined Arsenal in the summer of 2016 from Borussia Monchengladbach in a deal worth in excess of £30m and has featured regularly under former manager Arsene Wenger and during Unai Emery’s tenure at the club.
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The midfielder was appointed captain by Emery and was on the verge of leaving the club in 2019 when he was booed off by Arsenal fans in a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.
But after meeting with Arteta when the manager returned to the club midway through the season in December, Xhaka has completely changed the narratives with his performances on and off the pitch.
Speaking after the win against Leeds United last weekend, the Switzerland captain says Liverpool remains dangerous despite having a tough season.
“It does not matter how their season is going – they are always a dangerous team and, at Anfield, a very difficult team to play. But we have confidence enough to win there as well. This is what we will try to do. That’s why we are going there so let’s see if we can bring the three points back.”