Granit Xhaka’s Arsenal redemption story seems well and truly complete with fans and pundits raving about his recent performances.
Just three years ago, in October 2019, his career at the North London club ended when he sarcastically clapped back at the cheering fans when he was substituted.
The 29-year-old was relieved of his captaincy a few weeks later and it looked unlikely he would be an Arsenal player for much longer.
Now under Mikel Arteta, he is thriving in a more advanced role and a scintillating first-half performance against Brentford on Sunday sent everyone raving.
Xhaka provided a delightful cross for Gabriel Jesus, who headed home for the Gunners’ second.
The Brazilian then thanked the midfielder while polishing his boot.
He has one goal and three assists so far this season, breaking his record from the previous three seasons.
Only once did Xhaka get more assists in a single campaign, when he bagged seven in the 2017/18 campaign.
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talkSPORT pundits were lyrical about the midfielder at half-time.
Former Gunners winger Perry Groves said: “I was very impressed with Arsenal in midfield. I don’t think Brentford accepted Granit Xhaka’s position.
“He is the one who dominates. He plays a bit more forward than Thomas Partey, that’s what we saw with Arsenal’s second goal, which was a brilliant cross for Jesus.
Andy Townsend added: “He sat well when Gabriel stepped in, he was the first to recognize that there is a void that might need to be filled.
“He is a very experienced activist. It wasn’t that long ago that just about everyone at Arsenal wanted him out.
“Today he showed a very mature side to his game. I’ve never seen a bad performance from Arsenal there.