When Granit Xhaka signed for Arsenal he did so with a reputation as something of a bad boy who had disciplinary problems.

Back then, I took a look at Granit Xhaka’s red and yellow card record to work out if he really was going to be the liability many said he was.

It turns out, you’ll be shocked to know, he wasn’t.

A number of journalists had used his youth record to pad out his stats in a way I’ve never seen them do with any other player before or since.

But, as he picked up another yellow against Leicester on Monday after being lucky to escape an earlier booking, I thought about those stats.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22:  Granit Xhaka of Arsenal shouts instructions during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on October 22, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 22: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal shouts instructions during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on October 22, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

To my mind, it felt like was getting booked far more for Arsenal than he ever did before he arrived in London, so I decided to see if my instinct was right.

It was.

Since arriving at Arsenal in 2016, Granit Xhaka has picked up 28 yellows and 2 reds in 103 games.

That’s a yellow every 3.7 games and a red every 51.5.

Of course, we also know those reds are skewed by Jon Moss’s dislike of Xhaka with one of the sendings off coming for something nobody has ever been sent off for since.

The only straight red cards Xhaka has received in his entire career have been from Jon Moss.

Granit Xhaka’s red card record before joining Arsenal

Granit Xhaka TOTO MARTI
Granit Xhaka TOTO MARTI

2015/16 – 28 Bundesliga appearances, two reds, both for two yellows, no reds in 5 Champions League appearances or 3 cup games

2014/15 – 30 Bundesliga appearances, one red for two yellows, 9 Europa League appearances, 1 red for two yellows, 5 cup appearances, no reds

2013/14 – 28 Bundesliga appearances, 1 red for two yellows, 1 cup game, no red

2012/13 – 33 appearances all competitions, no reds

2011/12 – 38 appearances all competitions, no reds

2010/11 – 34 appearances all competitions, no reds

Granit Xhaka’s yellow card record before joining Arsenal

Granit Xhaka
MOENCHENGLADBACH, GERMANY – DECEMBER 20: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal is presented to the fans prior to the Bundesliga match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and VfL Wolfsburg at Borussia-Park on December 20, 2016 in Moenchengladbach, Germany. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty Images)

2015/16 – 7 yellows in 36 games (one every 5.1 games)

2014/15 –  14 yellows in 42 games (3)

2013/14 – 10 yellows in 29 games (2.9)

2012/13 – 4 yellows in 33 games (8.25)

2011/12 – 4 yellows in 38 games (9.5)

2010/11 – 3 yellows in 34 games (11.3)

That gives us a pre-Arsenal career average for Granit Xhaka of a yellow card every 6.7 games – almost double his Arsenal rate of 3.7.

Had he continued to pick up yellows at this old rate, he would have just 15 yellow cards while wearing an Arsenal shirt, 13 fewer than he currently has.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.