Football News

‘He has turned up’: Merson comments on £30m Arsenal player who lost possession 13 times v PSV

Granit Xhaka has arguably been Arsenal’s best player this season.


There’s others like Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli who have also been exceptional, but from August to now, the Switzerland international has probably been the Gunners’ most consistent performer.

However, Xhaka struggled on Thursday as Arsenal lost 2-0 away to PSV Eindhoven in the Europa League.

The former Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder looked like the frustrating player who many fans of the North London outfit had turned against in recent seasons.

According to SofaScore, the 30-year-old lost the ball 13 times in the Netherlands. That being said, he is still a massive player for Arsenal and one who’s been getting a lot of praise for his improvement this season.

And yet, Paul Merson, speaking to Sportskeeda, still believes that the Swiss enigma is somewhat underrated, claiming he still doesn’t get the credit he deserves.

He said: “Granit Xhaka is playing for Arsenal now like he does for Switzerland. I used to watch him play for his national team and wonder why he couldn’t play like that for Arsenal. He has turned up now, and I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves.”

Yep, this was definitely Xhaka’s most underwhelming display of an otherwise superb campaign, helping the Emirates Stadium reach the Premier League summit. But is the £30 million signing from 2016 [Sky Sports] still underrated? Well, potentially not.

There’s been a lot of pundits doing u-turns on the player this season and piling the praise on him for his improvement and you can see it in his confidence.

Hopefully this performance doesn’t bring about a return of the same Xhaka who has been frustrating Arsenal supporters for six years.



Arsenal defender Pablo Mari to undergo surgery after being stabbed in Milan knife attack

The 29-year-old, currently on a season-long loan at Monza, is now recovering in the Niguarda hospital

Arsenal defender Pablo Mari will undergo surgery on his back on Friday after being stabbed in a deadly supermarket attack in Milan.

The 29-year-old, currently on a season-long loan at Monza, is now recovering in the Niguarda hospital, with local reports claiming one of five victims – said to be an employee of the Carrefour supermarket – has died.

Mari said: “Today I was lucky, because I saw a person die in front of me.”

According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Mari had been walking with his wife and son – who was in a trolley – in the shop in Assago near Milan when he felt a pain in his back before seeing the attacker, later identified as a 46-year-old man and arrested by police, stab another person in the throat. Local reports say any terrorist motive for the attack has been ruled out.


It is reported the Spaniard’s injuries are not severe but, after spending the night in hospital, he will undergo surgery on damaged muscles on Friday.

Monza president Adriano Galliani, who visited Mari along with the Serie A side’s head coach Raffaele Palladino, told Gazzetta: “Pablo is an amazing guy. He had the strength to joke and tell me that he will be back in training on Monday.

“I brought him greetings from (club president Silvio) Berlusconi and everyone else. His team-mates wanted to come here but obviously it was not possible.”

Speaking further about the attack, Galliani added: “It is shocking news. My thoughts are with the families – what happened today seems impossible for a city like Milan. It can’t be possible that someone gets up in the morning to go to work and then loses their life because of the actions of a criminal.”

Mari joined Arsenal from Brazilian side Flamengo in January 2020 and played 19 times for the Gunners before heading to Italy on loan in August.

In a statement issued shortly after their 2-0 Europa League defeat at PSV Eindhoven on Thursday night, Arsenal gave an update on Mari’s condition.


“We are all shocked to hear the dreadful news about the stabbing in Italy, which has put a number of people in hospital including our on-loan centre-back Pablo Mari,” it read.

“We have been in contact with Pablo’s agent who has told us he’s in hospital and is not seriously hurt. Our thoughts are with Pablo and the other victims of this dreadful incident.”

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, in his post-match press conference, added: “I just found out. I know (technical director) Edu has been in touch with his relatives. He’s in hospital but he seems to be OK.”

About the author


Leave a Comment