COMMENT By Dominic Toner
Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka should be named in the starting line-up against Bournemouth on Sunday.
The Gunners host Eddie Howe’s side in the Premier League and must restore the 24-year-old midfielder to their team.
Xhaka has been used a substitute in the club’s last two matches against Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United.
Manager Arsene Wenger has preferred Francis Coquelin, Aaron Ramsey and Mohamed Elneny in midfield during those matches, but his side have lacked creativity as they have drawn both games.
Playmaker Santi Cazorla remains sidelined with an injury and Xhaka is the perfect alternative to slot into the midfield against Bournemouth.
Xhaka has completed 90 minutes on just four occasions in his 14 appearances and is yet to showcase his true potential.
The Switzerland international moved to the Emirates in the summer for £34million from German side Borussia Monchengladbach and his well known for his combative style.
He is also very comfortable in possession and offers more of a goal threat than the defensively-minded Coquelin and Elneny.
Arsenal should be expected to dominate possession against Bournemouth so there is no need to start two holding midfielders, but should give their summer signing the opportunity to repay his large £34million price tag.
Xhaka has already shown his shooting ability with some long-range efforts that have caught the eye of the club’s supporters and Sunday’s match is the perfect opportunity to bring him back into the side.
The Gunners are still hopeful of competing for the title this season and are only three points behind league leaders Chelsea, but Wenger must make sure Arsenal win their home matches and play on the front foot.
In other Arsenal news, Wenger has delivered a two-word verdict on Jack Wilshere’s future at the club.