Wenger tells £33.8m midfielder Xhaka ‘not to tackle’

Date published: Thursday 26th January 2017 11:24

Arsene Wenger has admitted that Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka’s strength is not in his tackling.

Xhaka received his second red card of the season after referee Jon Moss sent him off in the 2-1 victory over Burnley on Sunday. He was named our early loser after the game.

At his press conference on Thursday, Wenger has encouraged his £33.8million summer signing not to tackle.

“There’s two incidents that have been talked about,” he said. “Watching it again the sending off was harsh.

“It was not a dangerous tackle, it was a clumsy tackle. He has to learn from it, I don’t think he wanted to injure anybody but he has to learn from it.

“We lose him for four games now at an important time.”

It was claimed on Tuesday that the Swiss midfielder abused a member of staff at Heathrow Airport, with Wenger reportedly ready to ‘read the riot act‘ to the 24-year-old.

“He denies completely the other incident at Heathrow, I have spoken to him about it,” Wenger said.

“I can only say about him since the start, he has a fantastic attitude. He has been absolutely marvellous.

“Focus, dedication and we never have a bad noise about him.”

Wenger added: “He is naturally not a great tackler. It is more the way he tackles that is not convincing.

“I would encourage him not to tackle, to stay on his feet.

“Tackling is a technique that you learn at a young age but when you are face to face you stand up.”

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