Granit Xhaka warned Arsenal career could be over with replacement waiting

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has been disappointing this season, and was sent off against Burnley last weekend after grabbing Ashley Westwood by the throat.

The Swiss ace’s poor performances have correlated with Arsenal ’s dismal form in the league, with Mikel Arteta’s side sat in 15th place in the table.

Arteta has been struggling to get any consistency with his team, and hasn’t been able to nail down a consistent formation.

And Gunners hero Martin Keown thinks Ainsley Maitland-Niles could be about to come into the side as his replacement.

Maitland-Niles, who was linked with a move to Wolves in the summer, has barely featured in the league this season but has made a couple of appearances in the middle of midfield in the Europa League and EFL Cup.

His versatility is seen as one of his best assets, as he has the ability to play on either wing or in the middle.

And Keown thinks he could be the answer to Arteta’s midfield woes and finally solve the issue of finding a partner for Thomas Partey.

He explained in his Daily Mail column: “Clearly Arteta's plan is to play 4-2-1-3. But for that to work he needs two world-class central midfielders.

“He may have one in Thomas Partey but the Ghanaian is out for a while after being rushed back too soon from injury for the Tottenham game.

“Arsenal are still searching for the right balance in centre midfield, unlike Spurs, who have the perfect duo in Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Moussa Sissoko, prepared to go to war for their manager.

“Which brings me to Granit Xhaka. Of course, he will be under fire after Sunday's sending-off against Burnley, and rightly so.

“He just does not get around the pitch quickly enough. He has made some huge mistakes – so many in fact you would be surprised if there is a way back under Arteta.

“If the experienced players cannot do it, it is time to trust a youngster in the heart of midfield.

“Ainsley Maitland-Niles is an England player and he was superb in that position against Rapid Vienna. He has great pace, is good in possession and can defend.”

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