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Arsenal legend believes Lucas Torreira has freed up Granit Xhaka

Arsenal legend-turned-pundit Martin Keown believes summer signing Lucas Torreira has revived the career of Granit Xhaka. The Switzerland international was constantly criticised for his limited mobility during the previous campaign but such issues have been few and far between this season with Torreira making up the hard yards to intercept play.

In a report covered by Metro, Keown cited that he is pleased with the club’s overturning their poor away form, which was a highlight through the 2017/18 campaign. He added that he was impressed with the grit and determination of the whole side during the recent 5-1 mauling of Fulham while indicating the balance brought about by Torreira - who has allowed Xhaka to be more creative.

“What's clear to see is that they have won three times away from home — having only done so four times on the road in the Premier League throughout the whole of last season. I couldn't bear to watch Arsenal's away matches last season. Now they look much more competitive. As much as I enjoyed the confidence and expression of Aaron Ramsey's Harlem Globetrotter goal, what impressed me more was the grit, tenacity, and determination in Arsenal's performance. After letting Fulham back into the game, they showed real character to win emphatically in the second half. Lucas Torreira has brought balance to the midfield. He has freed Granit Xhaka to be more creative,” he said.
Xhaka had been criticised regularly during the previous season after failing to spot the movement of opposition players into the box on a number of occasions. However, the Swiss’ awareness has been much better under the tutelage of Unai Emery and he has also been helped by the fact that Torreira has covered ground to prevent the same from happening.
Arsenal started the season with successive losses in the English top-flight but they have since gone on a nine-match winning run across all competitions. The streak has propelled them to the fourth position in the Premier League with 18 points, two behind reigning champions and table-toppers Manchester City.