Granit Xhaka made the WhoScored Europa League Team of the Week on Friday morning, despite Arsenal’s exit to Sporting CP.
On a disappointing night for Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side, Granit Xhaka was one of the Gunners’ better performers against Sporting CP in the Europa League last-16 second leg.
WhoScored recognised that strong display with inclusion in their Team of the Week, handing Xhaka an 8.6/10 rating.
Xhaka opened the scoring in the 19th minute with a clinical finish, and he was busy throughout the 120 minutes of action.
The midfielder completed 87% of his passes, won 16 of his 23 individual duels, and he even completed three of four attempted dribbles – a bit of a rarity for the Swiss international.
Off the ball, Xhaka made six tackles, three clearances, and blocked two shots.
If the penalty shootout went the other way, the 30-year-old would certainly be getting a lot of credit for Arsenal’s progression, but unfortunately, these sorts of performances don’t tend to be remembered in defeat.
It’s unlikely Xhaka will be rewarded for his performance with a rest, as he’ll be needed against Crystal Palace on Sunday, and will then travel off to captain Switzerland over the international break.
That hasn’t been a major issue for the player in the past, however, as he seems capable of grinding out game after game without his level dipping.
With Arsenal now out of the Europa League, there will be some chances for midweek rests next month at least.