Granit Xhaka has enjoyed arguably his best season at Arsenal so far, since moving to the club in 2016 but his recent comments that North London will not be his permanent home in the future might just start to rattle a few fans and the manager Unai Emery.
Speaking to Tagblatt, via the Daily Mail, the 26-year-old Xhaka hinted at moving on from the Gunners in the near future by saying ‘Arsenal does not have to be the last stop’ of his football career.
Emery and Xhaka have worked brilliantly together since the manager took over from Arsene Wenger last May and has been the key figure in the midfielder’s development as both a linkup player in the centre of the pitch and one of the club’s leaders.
The manager wasted no time in naming Xhaka as one of his five captains for the season and the times the Swiss international donned the captain’s armband, he’s led his team with great pride and with example. We’re sure most Gooners reading this will agree, the former Borussia Monchengladbach man has really come into his own since the departure of Arsene Wenger, looking so much more disciplined in the engine room.
All that money wasn’t wasted then, right?
Indeed, Xhaka’s all-round play has been excellent this campaign and instrumental to the Gunners’ fine form with his defensive aptitude especially showing massive improvement compared to past seasons.
His discipline on the pitch has also been terrific after building somewhat of an ill-tempered reputation since his first season at the club, finally emerging as the holding midfielder the fans must have thought they were getting almost three years ago now.
For Arsenal to make further strides in the near future, both domestically and in Europe, a player like Xhaka will be of high value to the manager and he could be in a position to be a future club captain. Emery will, therefore, need to consult both the player and his directors about a possible new contract for Xhaka in order to keep him at the Emirates for a longer period of time.
Arsenal could be set to lose a few players in the coming summer market as the Emery project enters its second phase, Aaron Ramsey being the main example here, and Xhaka, who is valued at £45 million (by Transfermarkt), should definitely not be one of them.
Finally, Arsenal are starting to see the best of him.
Arsenal fans, do Xhaka’s comments scare you? How big a loss would he be? Join the discussion by commenting below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!