Granit Xhaka earned the man of the match award in a metronomic display against Chelsea in the Community Shield.
The Swiss midfielder demonstrated his impressive range of passing in the heart of Arsenal’s midfield as he controlled the game against Chelsea. According to WhoScored, Xhaka was Arsenal’s most influential player with 104 touches, and managed the most passes with 88 at a 90% success rate.
Xhaka is crucial to how Arsenal build-up from the back and he was always free for a pass, while also rarely being fazed by any pressure the Chelsea midfield applied. He was also a prevalent creative force, completing three key passes and providing the assist for Sead Kolasinac’s goal with a wonderful free-kick delivery.
It’s also notable that this was another game in which Xhaka refrained from going to ground whenever he went into tackle. Part of that may have been down the impressive amount of work his midfield parnter, Mohamed Elneny, got through.
Xhaka has looked much less like a loose canon since the change in formation and looks set to remain that way going into the new season.
Xhaka was also unfortunate not to have scored a memorable goal, as a well-struck shot from distance was met with a brilliant save from Thibaut Courtois.
Not everyone was convinced by Xhaka last season, but on the basis of this performance, he could win those doubters over this season.