The name alone is enough to raise snorts of derision and sneers of distaste amongst some portions of the Gooner faithful.
The Swiss captain has failed to impress large swathes of our fanbase, and his inclusion in the team riles many, especially when we have the likes of Lucas Torreira riding the bench.
There are certain stats though, that indicate we have a great player on our hands, but with weaknesses that are under the microscope more than most.
Xhaka’s pass percentile in the final third over the last three seasons averages in the 98th percentile in the Premier League. His pass completion is in the top10 since he has been at Arsenal.
The problem though, is that we have a pass master, who needs to be that little bit more.
He isn’t a defensive midfielder. We have tried and failed to establish him as such, but his continual failure to track runners leaves us overpowered at the back. Our new high line demands an effective press, which Xhaka also fails to implement.
He covers a decent amount of ground, but cannot be called a box-to-box midfielder. He doesn’t add enough in attack and is never quite in the right place at the right time.
What Xhaka is, is too niche.
He is a deep-lying playmaker. We need a sentry sitting at the base of the midfield, who can win the ball and offload it both short and long.
Xhaka though, is far from a terrible player, even if he is the wrong fit for us.
He was rightly coveted before he came to us, and he is obviously showing his worth in training, as he still maintains a starting spot under Emery just as he did under Wenger - so we can rule out favouritism.
Perhaps we can hold out hope that the new rigorous training methods, and a new style of coaching, may instill the missing pieces of Xhaka’s game?
It’s possible, but at this current moment, Xhaka is on borrowed time at the club, in the fan’s eyes.