By Amir Mir
Paul Merson believes Granit Xhaka must “definitely” start for Arsenal against Chelsea, with either Francis Coquelin or Santi Cazorla being axed.
Arsene Wenger’s side take on Antonio Conte’s Chelsea at the Emirates on Saturday evening in an eagerly awaited Premier League clash.
Ex-Arsenal man Merson believes 23-year-old midfielder Xhaka has done “nothing wrong” since his £30 million summer transfer from Borussia Monchengladbach, as he backed him to start against Chelsea at the weekend.
“Yes, definitely [Xhaka should start], you paid £30 million for him,” Merson told ArsenalFanTV. “If you’re buying someone for £30 million then that tells you’re going straight into the team.
“He’s done nothing wrong, I thought he was really good at Watford and then he never played again. For me he is a must to play, he is an absolute must and he’s got a lethal shot on him.”
Xhaka has made six appearances in all competitions for the north London club this term scoring two long range efforts against Hull and Nottingham Forest.
The Switzerland international will be hoping to help his side record their fourth straight league victory against their London rivals at the weekend.
Arsenal and Chelsea are level on points in the Premier League table, with ten points from five games, but Wenger’s side edge their rivals on goal difference.
In other Arsenal team news, the club have been given a boost after a key player Chelsea is ruled out ahead of their showdown.