Arsenal legend Ian Wright has criticised the club’s decision to sell Granit Xhaka after the midfielder’s phenomenal performances in Euro 2020.
As reported by Mirror, Ian Wright has voiced his criticism over Arsenal on their decision to part ways with Granit Xhaka. The club legend admits he has been left mesmerised by the midfielder’s performances in Euro 2020, ending up questioning the manager over his utilisation at Emirates.
A native of Basel, Xhaka joined the club in 2016, in a €45 million move from Borussia Monchengladbach. Since then, the midfielder has become nothing less than a scapegoat for the underachieving Arsenal, who have recently missed out on European football after finishing in mid-table.
The disappointing 2020/21 campaign appears to have forced Mikel Arteta to undertake a massive squad overhaul, with the Spaniard promising to “ruthlessly” change the setup. Wright, who was one-time English champion with Arsenal in 1998, has been one of Xhaka’s prime critics over the years.
But the 57-year-old has now walked back on his previous criticisms. Speaking to ITV’s Football Show Podcast, he said: “That is the best I’ve seen him [Xhaka] play.
“I feel for him because he’s someone I’ve been very critical of in the past, and when you see a performance like, do you blame him or the coaches for not getting those performances out of him in the past?
“I have never seen him used to that effect. There’s no way Arsenal should be selling a player that can play like that at that level.”
Wright’s comments came just before Switzerland’s quarter-final tie against Spain, where Xhaka had to miss out due to yellow card suspension. The Arsenal midfielder, who played a starring role in the nation’s incredible victory over France, was a huge miss in the middle of the park, as the Swiss lost the game on penalties.
Misses from Manuel Akanji, Fabian Schar and Ruben Vargas allowed Spain to clinch a berth in the semi-finals, with Xhaka now most likely to shift his focus on his future.
AS Roma have been in pole position for the Swiss international for quite some time now. But the midfielder’s impressive performances in the European championship has reportedly sparked the interest of Premier League giants Liverpool and Manchester City.