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Newcastle United: Magpies swoop for Granit Xhaka following captaincy strip

Newcastle United: Magpies swoop for Granit Xhaka following captaincy strip

It’s been an awful couple of weeks for Granit Xhaka – being booed off by Arsenal supporters, resulting in some unfriendly gestures towards the Emirates crowd, with his captaincy then being removed. 

The 78-cap Swiss midfielder is unlikely to commit his future to the Gunners following recent events, according to a report from The Times, with Newcastle United set to capitalise and offer him a way out.

Steve Bruce is apparently an admirer of the centre-midfielder, with the former Man United defender keen to add someone with his experience and energy to the heart of the Magpies midfield.

Indeed, Xhaka could be viewed as an upgrade on current central passing master Jonjo Shelvey, with the Switzerland international displaying an incredible average pass success rate since moving to the Premier League, including a career-high 89.5% during the 2016/2017 season, as per WhoScored, who list his passing as “very strong” while also showing he has managed at least 4.9 successful long balls per game in every Premier League season.

The 27-year-old, possessing experience playing at the highest level, including in the Champions League for Borussia Monchengladbach, would be a viable asset in Newcastle’s midfield – with compatriot and current Magpies star Fabian Schar proving to be a huge fan.

Speaking to the Sun following Xhaka’s cold reception, Schar went on to back his international teammate:

“I played with him for years and I know how he is as a person,” said the Newcastle centre-half.

“He’s doing everything for Arsenal, which is why he’s captain.

“He’s a very good guy and people aren’t seeing this.

“I will see him in a couple of weeks with the international team and I’ll give him a hug.

“It’s very hard for a player when your own fans are against you.”

Indeed, if Newcastle do manage to swoop for Xhaka, which may be unlikely given his current £130,000-per-week salary, his experience at the top level could be a huge benefit for the Magpies in their bid to avoid relegation.

Newcastle fans, can you realistically see the club bidding for Xhaka? Let us know below!

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