Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka is not worried about the number of minutes he has played this season and the risk of injury ahead of the World Cup.
The Swiss international has started all but one of the Gunners’ matches in all competitions this season, playing in midfield with either Thomas Partey or Albert Sambi Lokonga.
Xhaka’s influence played a huge role in Arsenal’s great start to the season, including scoring the only goal of Thursday’s game against PSV in the Europa League to secure a play-off berth.
The busy schedule leading up to the World Cup, where Switzerland play Brazil, Serbia and Cameroon, will test the players’ fitness this season, but Xhaka isn’t thinking about it.
“I’m not worried. The staff, the coach, they know how I am physically, how I take care of myself. This is not the first time I have done so many games in a row, I have done this for the last 13 years,” he said.
“I feel very good. Every time you win it gets a little easier, but I don’t worry about my fitness, the World Cup or the future.
Third game in a row…
1-0 in favor of Arsenal pic.twitter.com/mz6CwFcxh7
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 20, 2022
“I am 30 years old, I know my body better than before. When you are young, you think differently, and now I know my body, what I need. Of course, you have people around helping you with food, with recovery, at the moment everything is working well.”
Asked if he thinks about the risk of injury before games, he added: “I don’t think so, I will never think like that when I get on the field.
“This is football, it can happen in one second. You have to rely on your faith when there is a 50-50 ball. My identity, as people know, I will never go back to that.”
With seven games to play ahead of the World Cup, five of which are in the Premier League, Xhaka is hopeful that the Arsenal team can capitalize on their position four points behind the top and stay in the top until the mid-season break.
“That should be the goal. We are there now, we need to be there as long as possible,” he said.
“If we have a chance to stay where we are now, then the World Cup is coming, maybe it’s good for everyone, and for us too, to prepare something else for January.”