Arsenal legend Ian Wright has said that both Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi have transformed into better players since Mikel Arteta took charge as the Gunners head coach.
Xhaka was initially fancied to leave the club for Hertha Berlin at the beginning of January but he was convinced to stay by Arteta after he talked up his importance to the team.
The Switzerland international has since been a consistent performer wherever he has played and this has brought out a positive reaction from fans, who were previously angered by his on-field altercation with the club’s supporters in late October.
In comparison, Shkodran Mustafi has been guilty for a couple of defensive mistakes since Arteta took over the reins but of late, he has been the standout defender in back-to-back games against Bournemouth and Burnley in the FA Cup and Premier League respectively.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Wright was impressed with the improvement witnessed in the displays of Xhaka and Mustafi but admitted that Arteta needs more time in order to get the Gunners competing at the top once again.
“He’s turned Xhaka right around. He’s got something out of Mustafi – Mustafi played well against Burnley the other day. Things are happening, but it’s going to take its time,” he told.
Arsenal have managed three wins, five draws and one defeat from the opening nine games under Arteta but only one of those victories have come in the Premier League.
Of late, there has been a sequence of four draws in the top-flight and that has unfortunately not helped the club in the quest for a top-four spot and Champions League football for next term.
The Gunners’ next three league matches are against Newcastle United, Everton and West Ham United at home and they need to pick up maximum points to reduce the 10-point gap to fourth-placed Chelsea, who have a much difficult schedule to contend with.