Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta hails Granit Xhaka’s display in victory over Southampton

Southampton FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Xhaka impressed Arteta (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta heaped praise on Granit Xhaka after the midfielder returned from injury to help Arsenal beat Southampton 2-0.

Xhaka missed Arsenal’s last game and the Gunners arrived at St Mary’s off the back of successive demoralising defeats.

The former club captain has faced lots of criticism this season, but Arteta was relieved to have Xhaka back in his side.

‘He’s a big presence, he doesn’t hide and makes a good example for rest,’ Arteta said in his post-match press conference.

‘We had two very difficult weeks. I was concerned after the defeat at Brighton, it really touched the team but I could see yesterday the reaction was really positive.

‘I don’t want to talk about what happens on the table but what happens in training and games,’ Arteta added.

‘Against Brighton we had total control and threw the game away in seven minutes.

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The win is Arsenal’s first since the restart (Picture: Getty)

‘I know what this team can do when we’re at 100 per cent but if not we’re average.’

Goals from academy stars Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock sealed the win for Arsenal, with established stars Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil watching on from the bench.

The three points do little to Arsenal’s position in the Premier League table and the Gunners are nine points off Chelsea in fourth place.

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