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Paul Mariner suggests Granit Xhaka needs coaching at Arsenal

Former Premier League star Paul Mariner suggests Granit Xhaka needs more coaching at Arsenal to suit the defensive midfield role. The Switzerland international has been with the Gunners for the past two-and-a-half seasons where he has produced a mixed bag in terms of the performances for the club.

Speaking to ESPN FC, Mariner suggested that the midfielder is more suited to the holding role rather than playing in an advanced position. He added that the north London giants need to offer the midfielder with more coaching in the number six position, if he is to have a long-term future at the club, he said: “I like him in the 6 role. I don’t like him when he plays a little bit further forward or when he plays the 8 role. I don’t like him. What they should do with now is they should coach him a little bit more, so they are going to keep him.”

Xhaka has been one of the most improved players under Emery during the current campaign, and his absence at the heart of the midfield has been felt in recent league defeats to Everton and Crystal Palace. Nonetheless, he has been prone to making positional mistakes on occasions this term and that is something he may want to improve on in the future.

Arsenal are currently in the top four by virtue of only goal difference over Chelsea and they can’t afford any slip-ups during the remaining games of the campaign. That remains a tough task, however, with their woes on the road and it remains to be seen whether they can make the Champions League through their league phase this season.

The north London club can also qualify for the elite competition by winning the Europa League but they still face competition. Arsenal need to get the better of Valencia at the semi-final stage before getting the chance to face either Eintracht Frankfurt or Chelsea in Baku.