The form of Granit Xhaka has been described by Mikel Arteta in recent weeks as “phenomenal” and a key reason behind the greater solidity of Arsenal.

Xhaka has been impressive since returning from the suspension sustained by the red card he received against Burnley on 13 December. After losing his composure and catching Ashley Westwood by the throat, his dismissal came at 0-0 and it saw him pilloried on social media, and not for the first time after Arsenal had fallen to a 1-0 defeat.

According to The Guardian, Arteta said: “He was in a difficult place after the red card and with the history he had, and we had to try and bring him back where we believe he can be and where he should be, which is one of the team leaders and gives us stability and the presence he can give to the team and the club.

I think he’s been phenomenal since he came back; he plays very, really well. He had some pretty important moments against Palace and he’s still young. He’s already a player capable of developing. It is good for us to have him back.”

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