Arsenal suffered a 2-1 defeat in the hands of Brighton on Saturday, with Granit Xhaka being deployed as a left-back and it seems Arteta will follow suit when Arsenal travel to St. Mary’s stadium on Saturday.
Mikel decision to replace the injured Kieran Tierney with Granit Xhaka come under intense scrutiny after Saturday’s 2-1 loss as it left the home side woefully short in midfield.
Arteta using Xhaka at left-back and having Odegaard so deep in midfield left Arsenal unable to get any sort of foothold in the game.
And it was no surprise that the Gunners looked at their most threatening late on when Odegaard was able to operate in the final third after some late attacking changes gave him more licence to go forward.
But, it seems we’re going to see Xhaka at left-back once again against Southampton.
When asked about Xhaka as left-back, this is what the Arsenal manager had to say:
“When I put a player on the pitch it’s because I can see that he’s in the right conditions to do that,” he said of the decision not to field Tavares.
“To show him trust and for the players to show trust to us is, I’m going to give them the opportunity when I believe that he is ready to do that. When I see the moment he is doubting, I don’t give him any favour by putting him in there.
Xhaka played left-back on seven occasions last season and Arsenal won four times, lost twice and drew once.
“Then you can discuss whether Granit can play there, just look at the stats when Granit has played as a left-back. They don’t get much better than that.”
Arsenal travel to St. Mary’s stadium and could well be six points behind Tottenham by the time they kick-off on Saturday.