Anybody who regularly visits the blog will know how big a fan I am of Granit Xhaka. So I am not going to sum up what we will be missing once more, other than stating the obvious that we will be missing his left foot and his ‘keeping the structure’ skills. He is the embodiment of Arteta on the pitch and this is hard to replace.
Who should replace him or could we even not do so at all?
- Play 4-1-2-3 with Partey as lone deep midfielder as much as possible;
- Replace Xhaka with Ainsley – straight swap;
- Replace Xhaka with Lokonga – straight swap;
- Replace Xhaka with Partey and play either Lokonga or Ainsley on the mid-right;
- Move Ben White next to Partey;
- Move Chambers next to Partey;
- Move left footer Tierney next to Partey;
- Play ESR next to Partey;
- Play left footer Saka next to Partey;
- Play AMN, Lokonga and Partey in midfield.
There plenty of options and it will be interesting to see what Arteta will do. But what option would you go for?