Since his big-money switch from Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach in the summer, the talented Swiss international has only started two matches this season (Leicester and Watford, both away) – leading to questions as to whether there’s a specific reason why he’s constantly featuring off the bench.
Given he cost a fee in the region of £38m and is one of our best players, it has come as a surprise that Wenger decides against starting him on a regular basis.
With that being said, it’s clear that the manager is cautious about pushing him too soon, although there are no worries in regards to Xhaka getting accustomed to the physicality and speed of the Premier League itself.
The main reason why he hasn’t been playing as much as expected thus far, could potentially be that Wenger prefers the Coquelin-Cazorla duo in the centre as the two holding midfielders ahead of the backline.
Cazorla is technically suited to a more advanced role but has grown into the position over the past season or so, whilst Coquelin has shown his tenacity he also makes unnecessary mistakes which is one of the main reasons why supporters are confused as to why Xhaka (with a better passing range, and generally better defensively) isn’t starting regularly.
Given Wenger’s comments in the press this week, there’s no reason why Xhaka should be worried about a lack of first-team opportunities, and considering his ability, it seems only a matter of time before he’s afforded more chances to start and finish a full 90 minutes – especially in the important games where his presence in midfield can prove pivotal.