Unai Emery has hailed the impact of a 'committed' Granit Xhaka to his Arsenal side, who extended their unbeaten streak to 14 games in all competitions on the weekend.
Quoted by the Evening Standard after the Gunners' 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Saturday, Emery hailed the impact of a rejuvenated Xhaka, who has impressed in multiple positions over the last few weeks.
Granit Xhaka has made twice as many tackles as anyone on the pitch so far and completed more passes in the opposition half as well. He's having a stormer.— James Benge (@jamesbenge) November 3, 2018
“I want, with each player to continue and hope we can do better," the Spaniard said. "With Xhaka I am happy, because first he’s a very good player, and he has a very good commitment for us. He wants to improve, and I think he can improve. We want to continue with him to give him the time to improve.”
The summer arrival of Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria has allowed Xhaka to indulge his more naturally creative instincts this season, having frequently been played in a holding role early in his Arsenal career under Arsene Wenger.
Emery praised the developing link between the pair, adding: “Every player works a lot, and it’s very important for our balance that we have two midfielders like Xhaka and Torreira, because the balance in midfield is also important for our balance in defence and our balance offensively. They’re important tactically and also their commitment and their work, running a lot.”
Emery just celebrated that sliding tackle from Xhaka on Salah like a goal.— James Olley (@JamesOlley) November 3, 2018
The Spaniard also took time out to talk up Xhaka's defensive contribution though, saying of one particular tackle on Mohamed Salah: "When you score it’s the best and most important moment in the game - but I also enjoy the small details, individual actions defensively, and offensively. The sequence of every action in the pitch is, after the consequence if you can win or not win.”