ARSENAL fans are considering voting for midfielder Granit Xhaka as the club’s Player of the Season – despite his Marmite-like ability to divide opinions.
It is fair to say Gunners supporters have never fully decided exactly what to think of Xhaka, who joined from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016.
But now he is the first choice for many Gooners after an impressive season under new boss Unai Emery.
The Swiss star, 26, has missed just five Premier League games this season and even captained the side on four occasions.
With four goals – three of which proved crucial – and an ability to slot in at left-back or centre-back when needed, Xhaka has proved his value.
He has also displayed his class off the pitch, too, by befriending Julian – an eight-year-old boy with Down Syndrome – and taking the youngster around the Arsenal training ground this week.
Discussing the Arsenal Player of the Year award in a Reddit threat, Arsenal fans chipped in with why they would be voting for the fiery midfielder.
One said: “Hate or like him, it’s too hard to deny he’s a key player in our team. And he has been really doing well when we faced big teams.”
Xhaka for me. I can’t believe I’m saying it but damn he’s been f***ing awesome.
Another added: “Xhaka for me. I can’t believe I’m saying it but damn he’s been f***ing awesome. Massive improvements from past seasons and really playing like a leader.”
A third wrote: “It might not be the opinion of many but I honestly think Xhaka could be a big shout for our POTY.
“The midfield has looked pretty solid this year and Xhaka has always been part of it, whether he’s partnered Torreira, Ramsey or Guendozi he has performed well both offensively and defensively.
“I’m not saying it’s all down to him but he does make our team gel really well with connecting the defence to attack.”
Some of the other Arsenal players to have their names thrown into the mix were forwards Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as well as new signings Sokratis, Matteo Guendouzi and Bernd Leno.
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Arsenal, like with most clubs, allow their fans to vote for their Player of the Year towards the end of the season.
Last year’s winner, in Arsene Wenger’s final campaign, was Juventus-bound Aaron Ramsey, who also won it in 2014.
Mesut Ozil claimed the prize in 2016, with Alexis Sanchez the winner in the years either side.