Personally I reckon you are under-valuing him - for me him and torreira should be the nailed on centre mid's with either Ceballos or Willock playing in front of them. I aint picking douzi in their just to get xhaka out of the team, because I absolutely believe that he is further developed and more ready to be a starter than Willock or nelson or Ceballos if I'm honest. I really, really like what is going on with the squad rebuild/redevopment since le cock was bombed out - young players like douzi, Willock, pepe, maitland-niles, Tierney etc can be the backbone of this club for many years to come, and it is kinda exciting to do almost a full reset from where we were 15 months ago
what i see dozer as is a disruptor, he puts his foot in, harries and hassles players, like a less offensive to look at Robbie savage or Lee Bowyer. just his presence causes the opposition midfield to feel under pressure and give the ball away to him, willock or Ceballos, or Torreira. he may look a bit like a headless chicken at times and granted he could do with much more composure, especially going forward and laying the ball off, but that will come.
this time it seems a real redevelopment and less a project. the quality of Reiss, Chambers etc is undoubtedly there, they just need more confidence and familiarity with the speed of the PL.
plus this year, there is genuine competition for all the vital positions - look at CB - holding, chambers, kolasinac, and Luiz., competing for two spots.
Dick has now put his stamp on the team - and laid down markets - mustafi not even being on the bench on Sunday for example, iwobi being moved on etc.
i really don't mind us winning ugly away from home, as long as we occasionally turn it on at the bowl. pretty much what we did under George and when we had PV & Manu.
I'm still optimistic that we'll take third, and i'll believe that until Easter at least even if it gets a bit bumpy.