Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka would be a “hell of a player” if he played alongside the likes of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho at Liverpool, according to Danny Murphy.
Xhaka has come in for tough criticism from many for his performances this season and endured a tough time after being stripped of the captaincy and dropped by former Gunners boss Unai Emery.
The Switzerland international has since returned to become one of Mikel Arteta’s most trusted midfielders, although he was again criticised for his performance against Leeds United in the FA Cup on Monday.
Liverpool’s midfield, meanwhile, has looked far more solid with Henderson and Fabinho becoming the anchor of Jurgen Klopp’s side, although injuries to Fabinho and Naby Keita – and a fresh issue for James Milner – have forced Klopp to re-jig his team.
Speaking on talkSPORT, former Liverpool midfielder Murphy outlined how Xhaka would immediately see an improvement in his game if he moved to Anfield.
“If Xhaka was in Liverpool‘s side with Henderson and Fabinho, he would look a hell of a player because he is technically good, a good passer, has a great shot on him and he has the ability with his great left foot to open you up,” the pundit said.
“But when you are playing in a team that is struggling a bit, he is a passenger defensively and a liability. It is a dilemma for Mikel Arteta because he has a squad that needs a bit of tinkering.”
Murphy has been a vocal critic of Xhaka this season but cleared up his comments, insisting that he is “paid to comment on what he sees”.
“I’ve been on at Xhaka for quite a while, I’ve dug him out a few times,” he said.
“I’m paid to comment on what I see. If you play in midfield, you can’t expect to keep making the same mistakes and not be criticised.
“I can’t doubt his passion and his work ethic. Like all of the Arsenal players, he was very good second-half [against Leeds].
“But when you run around headless and you don’t think about what you’re doing, you’re going to keep getting booked and you’re going to be a liability for your team.
“He was lucky to stay on the pitch and he doesn’t learn his lessons.”
Arsenal’s next game sees them face Crystal Palace in Premier League action on Saturday.
Elsewhere, Arteta has reportedly met resistance from Gunners head of football Raul Sanllehi over a move for Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng.
The 31-year-old has been linked with a move to North London in recent days after making only eight Bundesliga starts for the German champions this term.
According to Sky Sports and Goal, however, Sanllehi has concerns over the player’s past injury issues and lack of playing time.