Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has warned that Granit Xhaka needs to be managed ‘carefully’ as he continues his recovery from a long-term knee injury.
Despite having been linked with a summer move to Roma, the Swiss midfielder managed to establish himself as first-choice in the opening weeks of the campaign.
The Swiss midfielder has been missing since sustaining a problem in Arsenal’s 3-1 victory in the North London Derby against Tottenham Hotspur last month though.
He was expected to be out until at least after Christmas, with an initial return set at a minimum of three months. Xhaka has since been taking to social media to document his progress and despite Arteta praising his attitude and hunger to return to action sooner rather than later, the Spaniard has called for calm.
Talking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Monday’s clash with Crystal Palace, he said: “With Granit I don’t know.
“But what I’m sure is that if you tell him three he will be thinking two and he will be cutting edges and doing extra work to manage that time. We have to manage him carefully.”
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Xhaka’s absence has forced Arteta into making a tricky call on the composition of his current midfield, with Thomas Partey and Albert Sambi Lokonga having been selected against Brighton & Hove Albion before the international break. Meanwhile, the Gunners’ only other option is Egyptian Mohamed Elneny.
Fortunately, Arteta confirmed that there have been no further injuries during the international fortnight and that his team have a near clean bill of health for the meeting with the Eagles.
He continued: “Not any bad news. At the moment everybody seems to be ok. Granit is progressing really well but know it is a long term injury and he’s not going to be available.”
Source by Football London