The Gunners suffered a frustrating defeat as they slipped off the Premier League’s top spot.
Arsenal’s decision to part ways with experienced midfielder Granit Xhaka in the summer has come under scrutiny after the Gunners suffered a defeat at the hands of Aston Villa, leaving former Premier League star Jamie Redknapp questioning the move.
Aston Villa secured a club record 15th straight win at Villa Park, with John McGinn’s early goal proving decisive. Arsenal, who missed several golden opportunities, failed to draw level despite a late effort from Kai Havertz being ruled out for handball.
The loss saw Arsenal relinquish their top spot in the league, marking only their second defeat of the season. Speaking on Sky Sports after the game, Redknapp said: “The performances haven’t been quite as fluid there was so much to enjoy. The back four hasn’t changed in midfield with Havertz is he an upgrade on Xhaka? Right now I would say no.
“I think right now certainly (they are missing Xhaka), he had that quality, he gave you that bit of positional sense.
“He’d get it onto his left foot, he’d create balls into Jesus he just gives you that bit of guile something they’re not possessing.”
Next up, Arsenal will take on PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League before returning to the Premier League with a match against Brighton next weekend.