‘Xhaka masters himself much better now’

Granit Xhaka

He’s been sent off twice in his first six months as an Arsenal player - but Arsène Wenger feels Granit Xhaka is now “mastering himself much better”.

The Swiss international has made 32 appearances for us this season, receiving eight yellows and two reds in that time.

According to the manager, some of those cautions have been issued because of Xhaka’s past.

“I believe that he is now in a position where on the first foul he gets a yellow card,” Wenger said. “For example on Saturday, first foul, soft yellow card.

“So he is a victim a little bit of his reputation. You see the tackles of some players that are much worse than what he did, and they don't even get a yellow card - and he got a straight red and because he had a history of that in Germany.

“Overall he is quite in a positive way, he masters himself much better. He was maybe a little bit before looking too much to impress, but overall he has to stay on the ground because it is tackling that can get him sent off. When he defends well, staying on his feet, he is a fair player.

“He has improved a lot since he has arrived I think but he still has to work on his one against one [play].”

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