Soccer

Nicholas admits he is 'not happy' with Arsenal midfielder Xhaka

Charlie Nicholas admits he is ‘not happy or convinced’ by Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka… claiming the Swiss midfielder does not provide consistency for Mikel Arteta’s side as former striker also slams vice-captain Hector Bellerin

  • Granit Xhaka has been a polarising figure since joining Arsenal in 2016 
  • Hector Bellerin became the club’s longest-serving player after Mesut Ozil left 
  • But former Arsenal striker Charlie Nicholas is unimpressed with the two players 
  • The Scot believes Mikel Arteta must sell another five or six players this summer  

Charlie Nicholas is not ‘happy or convinced’ with Granit Xhaka and Hector Bellerin and the former Arsenal forward believes boss Mikel Arteta must sell at least ‘five or six’ players this summer.

Switzerland midfielder Xhaka has become a polarising figure at the Emirates Stadium since joining for £35million from Borussia Moenchengladbach in 2016, despite appearing regularly and making 209 appearances for the club. 

No player in the Premier League has made more individual mistakes leading to goals since his arrival, while he was also stripped of the captaincy in 2019 after an angry confrontation with fans while being substituted against Crystal Palace. 


Charlie Nicholas is not ‘happy or convinced’ with Granit Xhaka (left) and Hector Bellerin (right)

The former Arsenal forward also believes Mikel Arteta must sell five or six players this summer

Vice-captain Bellerin meanwhile became the Gunners’ outright longest-serving player following the departure of Mesut Ozil in January, but has struggled for form this season and recent rumours have suggested the full-back could be on the move this summer eight years after joining the club’s academy.

And though he praised left-back Kieran Tierney for his impact, Nicholas remains unconvinced by Xhaka and Bellerin and insists Arteta still has work to do to improve 10th-place Arsenal, though he sees the emergence of a youth is a positive. 

‘Mikel Arteta still has to prove himself,’ the former Scotland forward told Paddy Power. 

‘For five years we knew that Arsène Wenger’s defence was weak, and although Arsenal are a bit more solid nowadays, and Kieran Tierney has now started to improve the left-back position in a big way because of his power and his forward drive.  


Nicholas (left) however admits he has been impressed by compatriot Kieran Tierney

‘I am not happy or convinced with Hector Bellerin or Granit Xhaka. It is an interesting coincidence how Xhaka is supposedly playing his best football when Arsenal are 10th in the league.

‘Arsenal need some consistency in the ranks, and he does not give them that.

‘I am encouraged by the fact that the young players look great, they are a great batch with a lot of talent,’ he added. ‘Arteta knows he’s got five or six to sell in the upcoming window.’ 

Spain international Bellerin, 25, has two years left on his deal at Arsenal and rumours have suggested Paris Saint-Germain could look to move for him following their interest last summer. 

Meanwhile, team-mate Xhaka, 29, signed a new deal with Arsenal in the summer of 2018 which is expected to take him through until the end of the 2022-23 season. 

Nicholas also admitted he was ‘encouraged’ with the young players coming through at the club




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