No Arsenal player has put together more consecutive starts in the Premier League than Granit Xhaka.
Xhaka’s appearance in Arsenal’s 5-1 win over Everton on the weekend was his 39th straight start in the Premier League.
Only two players – Swansea’s Alfie Mawson and Leicester’s Kasper Schmeichel – have managed to put longer runs together.
The record is a testament to Xhaka’s durability.
Out of all the players in the Arsenal squad, the Swiss seems to pick up less injuries and manages to get through more games without tiring.
This could be the main reason why Wenger continues to select him despite periods of bad form.
Someone like Aaron Ramsey is quite injury prone, so needs his game time managed more carefully.
Similarly, the attackers can find themselves worn down by the Premier League’s schedule.
Xhaka’s fitness means Wenger can keep some continuity in his midfield.
He may also be counting on the midfielder’s vision for when key creative talents aren’t available to him.
Mohamed Elneny and Francis Coquelin didn’t have his passing ability, even if they offered more defensively.
The side would struggle to work the ball forward if it didn’t have Xhaka in it.
It’s also possible that Wenger feels Xhaka can continue to improve.
The fact he’s started 39 straight games shows that his disciplinary record has improved from when he first joined.
Not only is he no longer picking up red cards, he keeps the number of yellow cards he receives down as well.
It shows that he’s worked on that part of his game, and if he can do that, then maybe he can improve his defending as well.