Martin Keown has been quick to praise Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka, following his impressive start to the season.
The Swiss midfielder was on target for Arsenal in midweek with a fine strike against PSV. The Gunners have already qualified from their Europa League group with two games to spare.
Mikel Arteta named a side with six changes to face PSV, following their 1-0 win over Leeds last weekend.
Several Arsenal stars have stepped up to the plate this season, but none more so than Xhaka.
The 30-year-old has had his ups and downs while at Arsenal, but he now finds himself as one of the first names on the team sheet.
Xhaka has started in all 10 of Arsenal’s Premier League games so far and he has provided several moments of quality.
Speaking on BT Sport, Keown explained: “Granit Xhaka is now becoming an Arsenal fan favourite and who could’ve imagined that?
“And it’s just about unlocking something in the player’s mind and being more open and receptive to other things, and he’s been extremely open. His work rate all the time to learn is fantastic, and now I think it’s paying off.”
Xhaka has scored three goals and got three assists across all competitions so far this season.
Keown believes that Arteta has perfected the role Xhaka now has in the side as he can be more creative.
He added: “With the role he has, it has given him a lot of licence to move forwards. The quality of the finish was outstanding, the technique was really good and he is going to enjoy that for some time.
“It was his right foot, his swinger, never scored for Arsenal with his right foot.
“We know he has had a difficult time at the club but that’s in the past and he’s doing well, but he is really important in the side for Arsenal’s success.
“He’s sitting there going ‘I’m just going to go a little bit more advanced here, we’ve got plenty of bodies behind me, and I’ll just wait in acres of space.’
“If they are successful and win a trophy, he will get another contract.”
Arsenal currently top the Premier League and don’t look like slowing down anytime soon.
Arteta’s side have averaged a whopping 2.7 points per game in the Premier League so far. If they were to continue on their current trajectory, they would finish the season with 102 points.
Plenty of pundits have been quick to write off Arteta’s side, but they won’t mind as long as they carry on winning.
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