How Rob Holding’s return could mean the end of Granit Xhaka in Arsenal’s midfield

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Arsenal’s loss to Liverpool over the weekend was not unexpected. However, judging by the flow of the match especially in the first half, Unai Emery’s team deserved to get at least a point at Anfield.

Two errors from Brazilian center-back David Luiz killed the match from an Arsenal perspective as he allowed Mohamed Salah to score two brilliant goals. Despite being a fine player, Luiz has mistakes in his game as seen from his time at Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain.

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The match provided a few lessons for Unai Emery. He needs to change a few things in his starting lineup and one of them has to be David Luiz in central defense. Naturally, the Brazilian is more comfortable playing as a defensive midfielder which is where Unai Emery needs to play him.

The return of Rob Holding will allow Emery to field a center-back pairing of Sokratis and the young English defender while David Luiz moves further ahead in the defensive midfield role. The role is currently occupied by Granit Xhaka but it is easy to see why Arsenal struggle with him in midfield.

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Despite the Swiss being a good passer of the ball, Xhaka is miserably slow on the ball and can only play long balls with his left foot. This sometimes kills Arsenal’s momentum on the counter-attack. David Luiz will comfortably spray long balls with either foot and is mobile enough to work alongside Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira.

With Luiz in the center of the pitch, Arsenal’s midfield will transform into a better modern structure

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The Key to all these changes happening however is Rob Holding making a return to the first team. The defender played 90 minutes for the Arsenal under 23s and could make the bench for Sunday’s North London derby clash with Tottenham Hotspur.

Arsenal fans, would you move David Luiz into midfield to replace Granit Xhaka? Share your thoughts in the comments section below…

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