Granit Xhaka’s arrival at Arsenal has been successful or not is still up for debate. But has it been eventful, well there could only be one answer to that. No other player baring Mesut Ozil have split the Arsenal fans as much as the Swiss international.
He was almost the poster boy of everything that went wrong at Arsenal under Unai Emery, with the fallout with fans against Crystal Palace as the iconic moment of his relationship with the fans. Though under Mikel Arteta Granit Xhaka looks more at home as he’s been shifted out of the limelight and allowed space to rebuild his relationship with the fans.
Though has his performance improved on the pitch overtime, let’s find it out through some statistics.
Granit Xhaka is a midfielder, so it’s only right that we look at his passing statistics first. Last season, under Unai Emery, he was making an average of 70 passes per 90, while this season he’s been averaging just 60 passes per 90. This change can be duly credited to his change of roles under Arteta where he has mostly been deployed on the left side of filling in for Bukayo Saka’s advance positioning.
However he’s making a higher percentage of successful passes with the former Basel man completing 88% of his passes in comparison to last year’s 82%. His change of positioning under Arteta has had his toll over his expected assists as it has been brought down from 0.12 last season to 0.04 this season.
Analysing his defensive numbers again shows an interesting but not so drastic change with his clearances going up from 2.27 per 90 to 3.35 per 90. While he’s also making 50% more blocks in comparison to last season.
His goal contributions have extensively gone down this season with the 26-year-old only managing one goal contribution throughout this whole season. While last season under Unai Emery he has 6 goal contributions with 2 goals and 4 assists under his belt.
A lot has been said about the former Arsenal captain, though not all has been true. And on the same lines, it seems the drastic change that everyone’s talking about isn’t that drastic afterall.