“I’m happy at Arsenal” – Xhaka plays down exit talk

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Granit Xhaka has played down suggestions he’s on the verge of an Arsenal exit by pointing out he only renewed terms at the Emirates last summer.

There have been ‘whispers’ that the Swiss international is wanted by new Inter Milan manager Antonio Conte but the veracity of that seems somewhat dubious.

Anyway, after his country lost their UEFA Nations League third-place play-off on penalties to England in Portugal on Sunday, the midfielder was quizzed about his future.

Asked if he’d be on the move, he told Blick: “Not that I know. I have another four years contract, I only signed last year. I’m happy there, my family too. That’s the most important.”

To emphasise the weirdness of his circumstances, the follow up question was whether he’d be happy becoming the Gunners captain.

“It would certainly be the dot on the i,” he noted.

With Petr Cech and Aaron Ramsey leaving, Mesut Ozil not exactly Unai Emery’s favourite player and Laurent Koscielny with only one year left on his contract, it doesn’t seem out of the question.

It would follow on from Xhaka’s formal appointment as captain of Switzerland, a mantle he inherited from Stephan Lichsteiner a couple of weeks ago.

After a very long season, Xhaka will now start his holiday in Kosovo. He’ll likely re-join the first team squad for pre-season in five weeks time.

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C.B.

Needs a stronger more athletic partner so he can concentrate on distribution.

OK player if so.

IamaGoober

I think we need to be moving Xhaka on if we can get anywhere near £30M for him.

For all of the good things he does, he just makes too many mistakes on the ball that lead to goals.

He made another horrendous error for Switzerland against Portugal the other night, gifting Ronaldo an opportunity to score which he gladly took.

If you look around the Premier League there are so many better players at other clubs in his position.

Berlingoon

Earns too much for an ok player and could generate quite some funds to invest in actual good players. Guendouzi can do 90% of what he’s doing already plus is way more mobile. Definitely one of the players I’d offload to pay for the needed squad renovation. Kolasinac, Mustafi, Mkhitaryan, Elneny and Özil are the others on that list.

Nketibag

It says it all that four respected senior players – 3 of which have been international captains – are leaving this summer for free and our likely future ‘captain’ is one of the most error-prone players in the whole squad. I’m seriously concerned with the lack of leaders and on-pitch responsibility in this team going forward.

Heavenly Chapecoense

The leadership is indeed the biggest problem. The team does not go to war to win games. To me, some of the errors on the pitch are willful neglects. I am in the position to close down a space but I will just stay where I am. Emery needs to deal with this. Once Joe Cole scored two great goals to win the game for Chelsea. After the game Mourinho said he was very unhappy with Cole: “I told him to defend and he wasn’t doing it”. Whether We like Mourinho or not, this is exactly what we need. Another… Read more »

HelderHughes

You know playing for Arsenal is tough when you take your holidays in Kosovo.

SharpasFc

Seems a rather ignorant comment to me.

HelderHughes

Jokes can seem like that if you choose to ignore the humour and therefore miss the actual subject of the punchline.

Forest gooner

We cant play xhaka torreira and 5 man defence. Either xhaka and ramsey type player with back three as against united at home or xhaka and torreira with 4 man defence as against Chelsea and Liverpool home.

Neil #2

Not good enough to be captain. Maybe we needs a Tony Adams (minus the drinking and fish and chips) figure to yell and toughen up the other squad members.

Neil #2

*need

LebronKos

Okay squad player but if club want him for 30m and above, should sell him.

Lanre

Bollocks!! Xhaka is bang mediocre. We will be lucky to have someone come in for him for 15 million.

Jasonissimo

Do you work in the “Player Sales” department at Arsenal? You’ve greatly undervalued one of the club’s better assets, which seems on brand.

Cycs

That’s a whole load of crap you just dropped!

Man

Drat

MissingTheOldArsenal

Much overrated. Willing to drop him to Milan if they’re dumb enough to put a bid in.

Sue

Snagger

Me Captain “that would certainly be the dot on the i”. On what there are 2 of them in Titanic. Not a captain imo. Looking around for who to blame with hands on hips when a mirror is required. Though looking at squad no one else jumps out which is the saddest thing.

Neil #2

Maybe Rob Holden? He’s a bit young…but….

Meh

Amanda’s little brother?

Injury Time

Just a reminder on his reflection on the Baku final:
Xhaka said:
“With 45 minutes you have a chance to come back but after one then two nil it’s game over.”
We were 2 nil down with 30 minutes to go, don’t want that sort of mentality as our Captain.

If he’s made captain my renewed season ticket will be mostly be unused; I would say put back to ticket exchange but get the feeling we will be advertising in the Metro ‘general sale’ alot if we have a slow start to the season…

Mpls

Perhaps you should give it up for someone who would appreciate it then.

Dave Cee

Perhaps he just wants players who are worth a shit

Injury Time

This pretty much. I don’t expect to win the league, or silverware every year but some players that actually give 100% and don’t give up as soon as a bit of pressure is put on them- not too much to ask is it?

Mpls

Perhaps I want a pony.

Dan Hunter

You have your wish. Xhaka is pony

Smiffy

Xhaka slows our play down way too much. Instead of helping Arsenal he actually assists the opposition. Every time he takes 2 or 3 touches in making up his mind what to do with the ball the opposition have time too regroup. Cesc had a way of receiving the ball, looking around and then choosing a killer pass. Xhaka does the same thing except for that he doesn’t look for or find the killer pass. Once he’s steadied himself he usually picks a sideways safe pass or a backwards possession based pass. He just doesn’t contribute enough…….

Ya gooner

Please leave

TuslowT

?

laudgunner

Your comments after the Portugal game summed up your mentality. You lack the consistency needed in the middle of the park.

Benriz

Oh good

hustle6

I guess he’s the right age to keep. But I can’t help but feel disheartened by this news.

He could command a big transfer fee and he can be replaced pretty darn easily and cheaply imo.

Cultured determination

Hopefully this drives his price up. 80 mil, and you get Mustafi for free.

TeeCee

… or 90 mil and you don’t get Mustafi at all.

GoonSte23

Well no one is happy with you.

Fatgooner

So he’s leaving then.

Dave Cee

Please

Naked Cygan

You will be happier at inter. Take mustafi and Ozil with you too.

Former Top 4 regulars

He could be a quality player if he was alongside a Kante or Willaim carvalho but hes not. Hes a longside a torreira who is not a physical Bob to box midfielder like Vieira so please sell him.

MeSoHornsey

It’s strange one as Emery and Wenger before him seemed to really like him. Barely ever dropped, regardless of errors.

I really like Xhaka’s mentality but a midfielder who is error prone, physically weak. who can’t tackle with awful recovery pace, just isn’t the right fit for the PL.

A Different George

Always played for Wenger, always plays for Emery, always plays for Switzerland. It’s just too bad all those coaches don’t know as much about football as the people who comment on blogs.

Mpls

Despite whatever faults he may have -and every player has some- he’s the most calming and stable midfielder we have of the lot. He is the most consistent for positioning, controlling the tempo, and passing we have even if he’s not one of the top in the league.

I imagine that is what Wenger and Emery see in him.

If he goes we need a new stabilizer in the midfield, and it has to be a significant player, not a cheap replacement.

Injury Time

Too much playing the stabilisers/ little bit handbrake on ;0). I don’t mind him as player when he has time he has good vision, but a little bit pressure and that part of his game is nullified, then mistakes kick in. As per other post it’s his mentality that I don’t like- I miss the Xhaka who had a bit of venom but post early Arsenal red cards he just seem like a little pussycat now. Unfortunately it seems like it’s not just him with that mindset.

Mpls

Oh I’d love to have a player with his passing and tempo management that also had better pace and energy. But without him we lose what little control of the middle we have. We can’t have a midfield that’s just run and tackle. That’s the bottom half of the table. Gwen Doozie is coming along, but he doesn’t manage tempo yet and has more errors and concentration drops than Xhaka so far. Torreira has some of it but hasn’t had the consistency or reliablility of fitness yet. Aaron is gone, Elneny surely is as well. We have got to have… Read more »

A Different George

“We can’t have a midfield that’s just run and tackle. That’s the bottom half of the table.”

Exactly right. But it’s easier to recognise energy and endeavor than vision and touch. If Xhaka had better pace, he would be world-class.

Lanre

Pisses me off how our corner plays almost always comes to naught. Usually Xhaka so casually and without conviction wiping in a useless long ball that just sails over the players or easily defended. Season after season, nothing changes.

Willie

Is there any good thing he has done?

Forest gooner

LEFT08

I’d much prefer Sokratis or Lacazette to deputise as captains for Kos. Xhaka should surely be sold if a good offer comes in. Renewing his contract was a good move, in the sense that we won’t be losing him on a free.

LenoMe

There are a lot of people who are happy to write Xhaka off but the club will keep him. With good reason too; he has an excellent ability to stay fit, he possesses leadership qualities, trains harder than anybody else and has ironed out some flaws in his game.

Plus he is happy to remain with us even though we continue to be in the Europa League.

He is not a perfect player, but he is not completely sh*thouse either.

Chrispy

I love him. Hes an absolute gem of player if you play him in front of an 8 man defence.

TorontoGunner

After reading a lot of comments; almost all of them negative, It’s fair to say Xhaka is not a fan favourite but if anything he is captain material. Why so much hate for him?. He was our best player in the final and he is the sort of player I will always put out there. The guy never hides on the pitch. Stands up for his team mates and is strong. Better players around him will make him a better player next season. He breaks the lines for our plays and is good at controlling and switching the play. Unless… Read more »

TorontoGunner

For all the downvotes, who are y’all wanting him gone going to replace him with ????

loose_cannon

GSW fan but fair play to Raptors and good luck to them!

Jomki

A player who is so promising but not playing to his full potential..

loose_cannon

He’s maybe not as bad as people are saying on here, but he’s definitely not good enough to start for us. Would keep as a bench option unless a good bid came in for him, same as Kolasinic. Ozil, Mustafi and Mkhi need to go as a matter of urgency, I’d take any money for them.

SharpasFc

This is the right attitude. Deep down we know he isn’t good enough and that we are probably stuck with him, but that he should be no more than a rotational squad player. All the other pointless negativity espoused on here is just that…pointless.

Cycs

Exactly why you’re not incharge of players sales and recruits…!

Santori

Some very daft thinking in certain quarters. a) Granit much improved from the season before. Holds the ball up better, worked on receiving the ball with back to opponent better, stays on his feet more. b) His Passing range is still key. He has the ability to switch our focal point of attack very quickly (as long as those receiving the ball know how to compete and protect it…Auba) c) There is a reason why he is still started ahead of Torreira or Guendouzi. See above. d) Torreira which many prefer to have a wank to has conspired to lose… Read more »

Cycs

Do you guys calling for his sale honestly believe we can get a midfielder better than him for anything lesser than 50-60 mil? Common, wake up and get real.

Jasonissimo

It would be tempting to sell him for 50 mill and bring in three young prospects for 15-20MM each and hope one of them develops into an 100MM+ talent within three years. We know Xhaka is reaching his peak–and he’s currently the best central midfielder we have all things considered–but his peak probably won’t be good enough to drag Arsenal back into league contention.

Barring that, Arsenal is going to have to rely on him while the powers that be go about fixing the more pressing problems in this team.

loose_cannon

Hmmm. Why do we need to spend that much to replace him exactly? Liverpool got Fabinho for £39m, Fernandinho was about £35m, Everton got Gueye for £7m, Leicester got Kante for £5m and then Chelsea bought him for £30m etc etc. And of course, we got Xhaka himself for £35m, so do we actually have to spend that 50-60 mil to replace him? Or actually, do we need to improve our scouting and find some quality, because tbh the teams around us have managed it.

George

He’s had his moments but overall I’m far from convinced he should be playing for us let alone as captain.

Dastardlydick

He needs to go and yes, our scouting needs to be more creative. StatDNA was a disaster. Doesn’t matter how good he can be, he is error prone and errors lose you points as we have seen. He’s not the only one but his carelessness is unforgivable.

Southpaw74

Can’t we just get shot of him, PLEASE

mrufan

since he joined, we havent been in the C1.
about to get out of c3 too.

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

Of course you are…A lot of us are not…

OnlyBeingHonest

Rest up young padawan,