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'We're very good together': Xhaka disappointed he hasn't played more alongside Arsenal teammate

Sam Preston February 24, 2021
Arsenal Training Session
Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Granit Xhaka says he’s disappointed he hasn’t had more chances to play alongside Thomas Partey since his arrival at Arsenal.

Partey’s signing was hugely exciting on the deadline day of the summer transfer window but injuries have stopped his Gunners career sparking into life so far.

At Arsenal’s press conference ahead of the crucial Europa League last 32 second leg clash with Benfica, Xhaka paid tribute to Partey.

He also hailed the recent performances of Nicolas Pepe, who has played on the left of midfield more often of late.


Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

“It’s a shame we were not playing a lot together,” said Xhaka when asked how he’s found playing alongside Partey.

“He had two big injuries but the games where we were playing together I think we looked very good, very solid. We are very good together not only on the pitch but off the pitch as well.

“He’s a lovely guy and he’s improving our team because you can see how much experience he has of this level and it’s good for my game as well.

There was also praise for another teammate: “(Nicolas) Pepe is very important for us. He has the quality. He looks very good on the left if I’m being honest. He has made the difference (for us) in the last few weeks.”

David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Everyone connected with Arsenal will hope that Partey can stay fit between now and the end of the season.

He has huge quality but hasn’t had a run of games in the side to be able to show it.

And if it brings out the best in Xhaka in midfield, then that’s even more of a bonus.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.