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Monday, 27 June 2016

Euro 2016: review on exit, Granit Xhaka

Yesterday we all saw Switzerland exit Euro 2016 after a defeat to Poland. This saw the end to what has been a particularly frustrating tournament for Switzerland. They struggled to really get off the mark and have an impact on Euro 2016. One positive however did come from the Swiss side and that is now Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka. Arsenal fans were excited to see what Granit was all about and many weren't disappointed with what they saw. Here's my opinion on How he played.

Firstly lets clear up people slating him for missing the penalty which saw his side sent home. The vast majority of players at some point will miss a penalty, should they therefore be held accountable for the loss, no not at all. It could've been anyone who missed and missing doesn't make it that one players fault, there were plenty more things that could've been done by Switzerland prior to penalties which could've helped them win the game.

One thing that was incredibly good by Xhaka was his ability to pick out a pass. He came out of Euro 2016 having 89% passing accuracy overall, making the most passes out of any player, with one of the highest success rates. He managed to create 10 chances in the 4 games he played in which is a great effort from a young player who is only 23 years old.

Another positive for Arsenal fans is his defensive mind set. Xhaka likes to sit very deep and conduct the game from a defensive midfield position, but unlike many defensive midfielders, he isn't only concerned to win the ball. He also often shows signs of creativity, and can combine every defensive midfield aspect by being able to shoot, tackle and create, making him a very strong well rounded player.

Admittedly, he didn't have the perfect tournament, but age is on his size. He has time now to work hard at Arsenal to get a place in their squad to prove what he can do, and to improve on what he isn't so good at. Meaning by the time the Premier League season comes around he is already comfortable and working hard in what could be a very strong Arsenal set up.

Overall in my opinion Xhaka is showing the potential to be a very strong player, and if he irons out some inconsistencies I'm sure he can go far. He will be looking to get into a strong Arsenal side next season to prove what he can do, he is more than capable of performing in the Premier League. As with many players however, it is vital he adapts fast, and hits the ground running come the new campaign.

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