24-year-old must be axed: Three things learned about Arsenal in win against Burnley
By Dominic Toner
Football Insider analyses three talking points from Arsenal’s 2-2 victory against Burnley in the Premier League on Sunday.
Xhaka must be dropped
Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka should be axed from the starting line-up after yet another red card against Burnley. The 24-year-old will now serve a suspension for his second dismissal of the season, but manager Arsene Wenger should drop him for the long-term future. He has proved to be a major liability since his summer arrival from Basel for £30million and should spend some time out of the starting XI. The Gunners are blessed with several central midfielders, including the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny. Xhaka needs to improve his disciplinary record as his red card left his side vulnerable in the closing stages against Burnley. He has now had nine red cards in the last three years and looks to be a major problem for his side.
Perez deserves starting role
Arsenal forward Lucas Perez must be handed a starting role by Wenger, with his side struggling to capatilise on a number of chances on Saturday. The Gunners are not clinical enough in front of goal and that is something that Perez has been so good at off the bench. He was an unused substitute against Burnley and it took a late penalty from Alexis Sanchez to secure the three points. Perez has made 14 appearances for the Gunners since he joined in the summer and he has already scored six goals in return. The forward has been patiently waiting for his chances and has taken them at every opportunity. The Gunners were once again guilty of being sloppy in front of goal and Perez should be given the opportunity.
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Arsenal greatest threat to Chelsea
Arsenal have very much gone under the radar this season and are firmly in the race for the title. Liverpool and Tottenham have both been applauded for their stylish performances this campaign, but it’s the Gunners who possess the greatest threat to Premier League leaders Chelsea. Arsenal moved up to second in the league table with the victory over Burnley and are now five points behind Chelsea, who face Hull later on Sunday at Stamford Bridge. The north London club have not been regarded as serious contenders this season, but Alexis Sanchez’s last minute penalty against Burnley may now give them the confidence.
In other Arsenal news, the club are in a battle to sign a goal-scoring winger who is out of contract in the summer.