Arsenal: Arteta has ‘green-lighted’ new Granit Xhaka contract
Mikel Arteta has reportedly ‘green-lighted’ a new contract for Granit Xhaka at Arsenal.
The Lowdown: Major turnaround for Xhaka
It was reported that Arsenal were set to open talks with the Swiss midfielder over a new deal by the end of 2022 after a major turnaround following his past relationship with many Gunners supporters.
Xhaka infamously swore at the Emirates Stadium faithful after being jeered when coming off as a substitute against Crystal Palace in 2019, which led to him being stripped of the captaincy.
Since then, he has had to rebuild his relationship with the support base, but he has been a key player in Arsenal’s success so far this season, featuring in every game in the Premier League and helping them to remain top of the table.
The Latest: Arteta green-lights new Xhaka contract
Taking to Twitter, Graeme Bailey says that Arteta has ‘green-lighted’ a new deal for Xhaka, who ‘wants to stay’ at Arsenal.
The transfer expert tweeted: “Granit Xhaka wants to stay with Arsenal – Mikel Arteta has green-lighted the move to keep him. Xhaka has been a key performer under Arteta since he took charge. Current deal has less than 18-months left to run.”
Expanding in his corresponding article for 90min, Bailey adds that talks have already taken place over a new contract, with Xhaka’s current deal set to expire in 2024.
The Verdict: Deserved
Xhaka’s new contract would be thoroughly deserved given his impressive performances this season.
The Switzerland international is excelling in a new role under Arteta, in which he has been given more licence to go forward and maraud into the penalty box, as evidenced by his four goals and five assists in total across all competitions in 2022/23.
He has been one of Arsenal’s standout performers in the top flight, ranking highly among his team-mates for average clearances, blocks, key passes and through balls per game (WhoScored).
Furthermore, extending his deal also protects his value for a future sale, although the Gunners will not be thinking about that just yet.