Granit Xhaka may not get the credit he always deserves at Arsenal but the latest findings show that his hard work isn’t going unnoticed.
The Swiss midfielder was named as Arsenal’s best player of 2021 so far by the CIES Football Observatory.
Xhaka is ranked seventh among the Premier League outfield players, having featured in every Arsenal match since the turn of the year.
Other top performing outfield players in the Premier League – according to CIES – include Chelsea midfielder Jorginho, Tottenham striker Harry Kane and Liverpool star Thiago Alcantara.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta was recently full of praise for Xhaka, who has remained a constant presence in the Arsenal team this season.
“If you have to put an example on that pitch about character and about going for every single goal with that determination, then probably it’s him,” said Arteta after the Europa League win over Benfica in February.
“He’s played more minutes than anybody else but he keeps going, even when he is so tired. He tries to help the team in the right way and the same like with David [Luiz].
28-year-old Xhaka recently admitted that Arteta is one of the main reasons he stayed at Emirates Stadium, being persuaded to turn down a move to Hertha Berlin after being infamously jeered off during the game against Crystal Palace in October 2019.
“Everyone knows he is one of the reasons why I am still at this club,” he said.
“We have a great relationship. It’s not a surprise that I am playing under every coach,” he added. “That means I am doing something good.
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“I am a team player I’m not selfish. I try to help the team and help the staff and to be an example for the young people in our dressing room.”
Xhaka is not the first player to have been earmarked by The CIES Football Observatory, following in the footsteps of Bukayo Saka whose transfer value was recently estimated between £100million and £130million.