Get up to date on Arsenal transfer news, injury updates, fixtures, not restricting reports on Arsenal Ladies and share your opinions on Goonerhead
If recent matches are anything to go by, Unai Emery appears to have settled on a first choice central midfield pairing of Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira.
The Uruguayan’s predilection for the uglier side of the game – he’s a tackle-happy, interception-loving, ball-recovering dervish – means the Swiss no longer has to pretend he’s an enforcer and instead allows him to flourish with the ball at his feet.
For the most part, Granit’s occasional lapse in concentration aside, it seems to be working for the Gunners, who are on their best winning run in a decade.
“You can see that he’s important for us because he’s strong in defence and in duels,” said Xhakawhen asked about the impact his new teammate has made at the Emirates.
“He can play easily from side to side and going forward, he helps with our balance.
“He lets me play my game with the ball and go a bit more in front. I am happy with him and the other guys playing in the midfield.”
It would appear that Granit isn’t exactly one to lavish anything but perfunctory praise on those around him.
He was actually ushered away from yesterday’s press conference at Sporting Lisbon’s Estadio Arvalade within four minutes, leaving Unai Emery to deal with the rest of the questions; it’s not clear if boredom or something more urgent was the reason for his premature departure.