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Martin Keown has urged Arsene Wenger to drop Granit Xhaka and start Jack Wilshere in Saturday’s much-anticipated north London derby against Tottenham. Arsenal travel across London to Wembley sixth in the Premier League but buoyed by last weekend’s 5-1 victory over Everton. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, making his debut for the Gunners after signing on deadline day, impressed with a goal and Aaron Ramsey bagged a hat-trick.
Xhaka played the entire 90 minutes of the thrashing but should be dropped on Saturday to compensate for Wilshere, according to Keown. Wilshere missed the 3-1 defeat against Swansea City due to illness but returned to play the final 15 minutes of the win over Everton. ‘If Arsene Wenger’s objective is to win the game by dominating possession, then he should play Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey in midfield,’ Keown told the Daily Mail.
‘Granit Xhaka is not doing the defensive job Arsenal would have expected after paying £35million for him. ‘Manchester United lost the midfield battle at Wembley last week and Wenger won’t want that vision of Xhaka struggling to retain the ball. ‘If it is not going to work with Xhaka in midfield then why not take the game to Tottenham and play with total possession? ‘I don’t see Jack as any less defensive than Xhaka. Wilshere is the better player, and the better player has to play.’ Tottenham beat Manchester United at Wembley at the end of last month and also clinched a point at Anfield last weekend.