Arsene Wenger has backed Granit Xhaka because he has improved with his defensive responsbilities.
Swiss midfielder Xhaka has started the last six Premier League games after initially struggling to adapt to life in north London.
Xhaka’s opportunities have largely come with the absence of Santi Cazorla, who is out of action after undergoing surgery.
But Wenger has been impressed with his performances – and says he will keep his place in the team if he remains focused.
Speaking to Arsenal Player , Wenger said: “I believe he is on the way up, he is a much more intense player today, a much more complete player because he contributes a lot defensively as well – that’s what I did not see at the start.
“He made some outstanding passes [against West Brom], his finishing still has some room for improvement but he has it in his locker.
“I just want him to focus on being strong defensively, and give the quality of his pass to the team and the rest will come along.
“There is a gap between what he can do to go to the next level, and where he is at the moment. Especially at his age, he is on the way up.
“I am confident he will [achieve that] because he is focused every day but that will depend basically on whether he can keep this attitude and that hunger to do it.”