The Switzerland midfielder started in Mikel Arteta’s first game in charge as the Gunners earned a 1-1 draw against Bournemouth on Boxing Day and he was in line to do so again today as the Spaniard’s side welcome the Blues to the Emirates.
However, as well as welcoming back Calum Chambers in place of Sokratis, Arteta named Mateo Guendouzi in his starting line-up in place for Xhaka.
The move raised some eyebrows given the speculation about Xhaka’s future following reports in Germany that he had agreed to join Hertha Berlin.
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 29, 2019
However, Arsenal moved quickly to quash the reports by confirming that Xhaka was missing with illness.
It was not specified how long the midfielder will be out for but Arteta will be hoping it’s short-term as the Gunners take on rivals Manchester United at the Emirates on New Year’s Day.