Granit Xhaka was determined to leave Old Trafford with a yellow card on Monday night and is now just one away from an automatic suspension despite it only being the start of October.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 30:   Players react towards the match Referee Kevin Friend during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal FC at Old Trafford on September 30, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 30: Players react towards the match Referee Kevin Friend during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal FC at Old Trafford on September 30, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

While there is no doubt Kevin Friend could have booked a significantly higher number of United players, Granit Xhaka can consider himself extremely fortunate that he was only finally booked in the 77th minute.

That yellow takes him to four for the season meaning he is one away from yet another five-card one-match ban, despite having only played six league games.

Only Crystal Palace’s Luka Milivojević has more, already reaching the five-card threshold.

Within the Arsenal squad, despite our captain leading by example, no other player has more than two cards.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno reacts during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal FC at St. James Park on August 11, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – AUGUST 11: Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno reacts during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal FC at St. James Park on August 11, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Bernd Leno has a pair for time-wasting, an offence that doesn’t seem to matter when it’s against Arsenal. Can you name two keepers booked in the last five years against us for time-wasting? Yet here we are with two for Leno. That being said, look at the absolute state of us time-wasting against Watford and Aston Villa.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Matteo Guendouzi, David Luiz, and Ainsley-Maitland Niles also have two.

Only Dani Ceballos, Joe Willock, and Lucas Torreira have escaped a card so far this season from those who have featured regularly.

Next up for Xhaka domestically is Bournemouth this weekend whom he has faced five times so far with just one yellow card to his name.

Since joining Arsenal, Xhaka has been suspended for a total of nine games.

The card count doesn’t reset until 31 December. To avoid suspension, Xhaka needs to remain card-free against Bournemouth (twice), Sheffield United, Crystal Palace, Liverpool (Carabao Cup), Wolves, Leicester, Southampton, Norwich, Brighton, West Ham, Manchester City, Everton, and Chelsea.

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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.