The Premier League is on hiatus this past week due to the World Cup qualifications games but fans continue to get a good look at their respective sides’ new star.
With silky skills and glorious goals, many of the Premier League’s top names are on show. Arsenal fans, more than most, are being treated to many of their heroes lining out, with the likes of France, Germany and Switzerland all featuring a Gunner in their midst.
One such Gunners star is summer signing Granit Xhaka. The 23-year-old midfielder arrived at the Emirates all the way back in May and fans have been singing his praises ever since.
Now, while on duty for Switzerland overnight, Arsenal fans have been ‘treated’ to a number of qualities that top footballers possess – commitment, tenacity and aggression.
During their 2-0 defeat of Portugal, while marshalling the midfield, Xhaka demonstrated all three of these in abundance when he put a stop to an advancing Nani.
Xhaka's a boss. https://t.co/GhxIt8687P
— Pádraig (@afcpadraig) September 6, 2016
Clearly not having any of Nani’s powerful run towards the Switzerland box, Xhaka executes a clinical sliding tackle on the Portuguese star, upending him and leaving him furious on the ground.
Though he did actually manage, somehow, to clear the ball while not actually hurting his opponent, Xhaka was sent for an early shower for the strong tackle. In previous decades, the Arsenal man would have been applauded for his efforts. These days, however, such a move will see you lucky to stay on the field.
While we could lament the softening of the game over the years, let’s just for a minute appreciate the commitment and precision of Xhaka’s flattening of the former Manchester United player.
Red card aside, it was an awesome challenge.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
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