Granit Xhaka has heaped praise on Arsenal teammate Thomas Partey following his side’s 2-0 victory over Leicester City.
The Gunners saw top-four rivals Manchester United go above them on Saturday evening after recording a 3-2 win against Tottenham Hotspur thanks to a stunning hat-trick from Portuguese icon Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, Mikel Arteta ‘s side were able to hold their nerve, with goals from Partey and Alexandre Lacazette enough to sweep aside the east Midlands club on Sunday afternoon, sending them back above the Red Devils, an impressive feat considering Ralf Rangnick’s men have played three more times than the Gunners in the league this term.
Now, Swiss captain Xhaka has hailed the influence of his fellow midfielder, admitting that the Ghana international was harsh on himself before finding his feet at the Emirates Stadium in recent weeks.
Speaking to the club’s official website, he said: “He criticised himself very hard I think, but he’s fit, he’s healthy, he’s so important for us, you can see his qualities without the ball, with the ball and everything starts from him.
“I’m enjoying being a part of the midfield with him.”
Xhaka has been playing in a more advanced role in recent times, with Arsenal boss Arteta choosing to deploy the 29-year-old as a box-to-box no.8 alongside Norwegian playmaker Martin Odegaard.
When asked about his new position, the former Borussia Monchengladbach star added: “It’s a different position, I think it’s not my first different position in this club, I’ve played already many positions in this club!”
“I’m enjoying it because I’m on the pitch, that’s the most important thing and after I try to help the team wherever the coach puts me and at the moment it’s working very well.”