Ian Wright has used Tottenham’s Victor Wanyama as an example of what Granit Xhaka should be striving for.
Pundit Ian Wright has told BBC Radio Five Live’s 606 podcast that Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka needs to be looking at how Tottenham’s Victor Wanyama plays in holding midfield.
Arsenal squeezed past Burnley with a 2-1 win on Sunday with a last-gasp penalty from Alexis Sanchez, after Burnley had scored their own late spot kick through Andre Gray.
With Arsenal 1-0 up at the Emirates Stadium, their chances of claiming a win were almost derailed by Granit Xhaka, who picked up his second red card of the season so far.
The Swiss international has also been booked three times this term, which isn’t the worst record in the league, but having given away two penalties as well in the Premier League, questions are being asked about Xhaka’s discipline.
A big-money summer signing from Borussia Monchengladbach, Xhaka has been something of a disappointment this term, but the 24-year-old has more than enough talent to turn things around and become the star midfielder Arsenal fans want him to be.
Meanwhile, across North London, Spurs have seen Victor Wanyama become a dominant holding midfielder this season, following a summer move from Southampton – which cost just £11million according to BBC Sport.
Wanyama, who worked with Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino at Southampton, was seen as the Premier League’s bad boy last season with four yellow cards and a whopping three red cards, but he’s toned that side of his game down this term, with no red cards to his name so far.
The Kenyan star has brought power and poise to the Spurs midfield, as he’s calmly protected the Tottenham back four whilst distributing the ball to the more attacking players in the side, proving to be worth every pound of his transfer fee.
After Xhaka’s latest indiscretion against Burnley, former Gunners hero and current pundit Ian Wright spoke to BBC Radio Five Live’s 606 podcast, and suggested that Xhaka should be looking at how Wanyama is playing the position.
Wright heaped praise on Wanyama for the way he controls everything in front of the back four, and noted that he doesn’t make rash challenges anymore – something that Xhaka must improve, according to the former striker.
“When you look at strong players, look at Wanyama’s performances for Spurs at the moment,” said Wright. “You don’t see that kind of tackle. He seems to be in control of everything. He gets the ball, he gives it very simply and he does his job in front of the back four. We have to hope with time that Xhaka will improve that side of the game because he needs to,” he added.
Who would you rather have in your team; Wanyama or Xhaka?