When Granit Xhaka didn’t train ahead of the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea today, and wasn’t even in the squad for the game, speculation over the future of the Swiss international increased.

Having made it clear via his agent that he wants to leave, and with Hertha Berlin interesting in signing him in January, it felt like the kind of absence that occurs before a player leaves.

However, after the game Mikel Arteta insisted that the 27 year old’s absence was down to illness, rather than an imminent departure.

“He played at Bournemouth,” said the manager. “He played really well, he was very committed, he played a really good game.

“After the game he started to feel ill. He had a temperature and he wasn’t feeling good. The last two days he’s been in bed.

“That’s why he’s not been selected.”

Asked directly if Xhaka would be leaving in January, a curt “I hope not”, put an end to that part of the conversation.

With Man Utd visiting on Wednesday, and with heavy legs from an intensive period of games, it’d be good to have as many players fit and available as possible, but it’s clear that January reinforcements are a must.

Whether that means some players have to go remains to be seen.

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La Défense
La Défense
5 months ago

The players are just not fit enough to play at the intensity required at the highest levels.

La Défense
La Défense
5 months ago
Reply to  La Défense

Damning indictment of Shad Forsyth and team? Or the coaching regimes that focused too much on backwards tiki taka at the expense of fitness?

Funny thing is, Arsenal were traditionally considered very fit in the days of Arsene Wenger. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

La Défense
La Défense
5 months ago
Reply to  La Défense

Total non sequitur… Anyone else notice how shit Aaron Ramsey has been for Juventus in the few minutes that he hasn’t been injured? Yet another overrated Arsenal player completely found out at another club…

Gooner.r
Gooner.r
5 months ago
Reply to  La Défense

I’m going to go out on a limb and say if we kept Ramsey, our season would look very different. When healthy, no one in the team had more energy and the ability to run the entire game which is what we need to be doing. If he could be anchoring our midfield, we would be much better for it. I blame the hierarchy for that one. Letting him go was criminal. Also highlights that if ceballos (who reminded me of a sort of Cazorla/Ramsey hybrid) was healthy, we’d be much better.

Mintoes
Mintoes
5 months ago
Reply to  Gooner.r

Ceballos? Who? Oh yeah him…this season’s denis Suarez…what a joke.

Luther
Luther
5 months ago
Reply to  Gooner.r

Oh please. You’re only saying that about Ramsey because that’s what the xenaphobic media told you. If he was a foreigner, they, and thus you, would be focusing on how he used to constantly give the ball away in key areas, leading to concession of goals or break down of promising attacks. And at the end of the day, didn’t he just leave for the money?

HelderHughes
HelderHughes
5 months ago
Reply to  Luther

You know it goes deeper than biased Welsh sports journalists. Welsh people secretly run the world. They have an underground network of power that has its tentacles in all aspects of geo-politics. It’s responsible for all information “leeks”. Dean Saunders was on the grassy knowle. Tom Jones planned and executed 9 / 11 and Anthony Hopkins is responsible for convincing people the world is round. Ramsey is actually spying in Italy and Bale has been sent to Spain in order to stop the Catalunya uprising. Of course Welsh people aren’t actually human. The dragon on their flag is reference to… Read more »

Gooner.r
Gooner.r
5 months ago
Reply to  Luther

Right, I’m xenophobic, which is why I highlighted how important a Spaniard is for our team, and why I’m delighted to have a Spaniard as our manager, and why I think we need a German midfielder to make our team better, and I could go on. I’m also not British, so don’t really know what your media says about foreign players on a regular basis… And yes, Ramsey had his faults, but I was a fan of his from the beginning right to the end. And no, I don’t think he left for money. Everything I’ve seen said we withdrew… Read more »

Vonnie
Vonnie
5 months ago
Reply to  Gooner.r

When healthy. He’s been injured for most of the season. Unfortunately he’s going to end up like Wilshere, very well paid and never available, we don’t need that in the squad.

The Arsenal
The Arsenal
5 months ago
Reply to  La Défense

I’d take him back right now

Vonnie
Vonnie
5 months ago
Reply to  The Arsenal

Do our medical and fitness staff not have enough to do?

Alex
Alex
5 months ago
Reply to  La Défense

3 subs would help that in the short term

La Défense
La Défense
5 months ago
Reply to  Alex

At this rate we’d need 10 subs…

Albert Ferreira
Albert Ferreira
5 months ago

Hope he feels better soon

Naked Cygan
Naked Cygan
5 months ago

Let him go and get someone who scores more, assists more, covers the defense better, doesn’t give away silly fouls and penalties, doesn’t get silly yellow and red cards, and finally keeps his cool as a Capitan. We can do much better and deserve much better.

There are many footballers and other athletes who are constantly abused online, which is bang out of order. But I can’t recall many telling their own fans to FK off. Let him go to a club with a fan base that does not have people abusing him online.

Tim
Tim
5 months ago
Reply to  Naked Cygan

Yawn

Martin
Martin
5 months ago
Reply to  Naked Cygan

Maybe you should remember how many of our toxic fans abused him and his family online. Wishing his daughter got cancer and death threats were some of the abuse he received. Can you honestly blame him for his anger ?

Website
Website
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin

Reading the abusive comments on xhaka, ozil and especially mustafi media account (even to the pointt msutafi close for comments occasionally), even considering how much l want Arsenal to do well, l really can’t blame them for wanting to move on. Up to a human level, l want them to move on so they could stop exposed to such toxic ridiculous abusive over the line comments.that l never wish those to be addressed to anyone, let alone to someone as charitable as mesut. Am sure this abuse not exclusive to these 3 playes, and l can only imagine how much… Read more »

Rich
Rich
5 months ago
Reply to  Website

Ozil + Mustafi don’t want to move on, we’re paying them too much money…. Not sure why you think abuse to “non white players” would be worse? Abuse is abuse, why are people obsessed with identity politics? The colour of someone’s skin, should hold as much relevance as the size of someone’s feet, people are just people. I’ve never had a problem with Granit telling fans to f*ck off, fans are happy to abuse him, but then offended when he says something back? Don’t dish it out, if you can’t take it. Who hasn’t said something in the heat of… Read more »

Naked Cygan
Naked Cygan
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin

I agree that the abuse is wrong. I am saying he is not the only player that has been abused. Other players don’t come out and tell fans to fk off. They have greater self control. Also if he goes to another club do you think they won’t abuse him? Every club has nasty fans who abuse the players, it’s just not st Arsenal. Running away from the fans or telling them to go off is not the answer. Specially for the capitan.

Olivije Žirod
Olivije Žirod
5 months ago
Reply to  Naked Cygan

That is why he will go to a lesser team. Everyone is mocking him that if he is so good then why is he going to Hertha. It is quite clear that this is only his decision. No one is driving him from Arsenal. He just want to make one step back to start enjoying football again and then maybe he will get a move to a top 4 Bundesliga club.

Website
Website
5 months ago
Reply to  Naked Cygan

Dear Cygan, you can’t blame him for reacting like he did just because everybody experience it.
We see killing all over the world then we should not take that as the norm, and then say to the relatives of the victim: “hey everybody dies so shut it and carry on.”

Rich
Rich
5 months ago

Supply + demand.

The club aren’t going to say Xhaka’s on the way out, without a replacement already in place.

I like Xhaka, and unless we can get a suitable and able replacement, he should be told to wait until summer for his move, contracts are a two way street.

He has flaws, but he’s still our most able and experienced centre mid.

Maxin In The Shade
Maxin In The Shade
5 months ago

Maybe he genuinely was ill, but it seems the writings on the wall.

At this stage, maybe the best thing for all concerned would be a parting of ways. Shame that it had to end like this but no point keeping someone who doesn’t wanna be here.

Also, the sooner we get rid of some of the deadwood the better. I don’t think there needs to be a huge turnover of players but some guys just aren’t gonna cut it under Arteta and what he would be demanding (a good thing imo).

The Arsenal
The Arsenal
5 months ago

I hate Xhaxa yet he is still our best midfielder. And that is the problem since we signed him.

Pakgooner
Pakgooner
5 months ago
Reply to  The Arsenal

Xhaka is a good player and I rate him, just not so much for us – yet he is not our best midfielder if considered that all of them are playing at their best. Both Willock and Guendouzi (despite today) have shown far more maturity and composure for us when playing like the ballers they are. Being young and having a bad game is more of a confidence and experience issue for them, which is why it’s not working out as well currently. I repeat, Xhaka is actually quite good but so well suited to a league with more space… Read more »

Snagger
Snagger
5 months ago
Reply to  The Arsenal

This is the only social media I get involved in. I let the wife do the Facebook and I’m too old for the others. In fairness I do throw the odd grenade in to get reaction/discussion and enjoy the thumbs down as much as the thumbs up but to say you hate someone is rather extreme. It’s different to not rating someone then it’s only an opinion. I think Xhaka is not suited to the Premier league but I don’t hate him for it it’s my opinion and wish him good luck in his new venture. Ps it’s laps tomorrow… Read more »

cowabunga
cowabunga
5 months ago

“He had a temperature and he wasn’t feeling good” Is that Arteta saying Xhaka got pissed off because Arsenal won’t sell to Hertha, and now he’s at home to cool off?

DaDude
5 months ago
Reply to  cowabunga

I certainly hope not. I hope a deal is done and dusted and will be announced immediately on January 2nd. And that he wasn’t playing anymore today, because in his mind he is already not at the club anymore.

Santori
Santori
5 months ago

As I said, too many fans have their fantasies. …they think we have it in us to wholesale change the squad or that it is easy to add when we get rid of some of their pet peeves. Fact is we are hardly the sort of team that spends as is and likely if things continue as they are, we may lose key players. Granit for all intents and purposes is a key player at the moment. Even with Torreira on (and he did well), we rarely had enough control into second half. IMO Arteta could have benfited from Xhaka… Read more »

Ska
Ska
5 months ago
Reply to  Santori

We languish too mate…

Dan
Dan
5 months ago

With such a new, young and inexperienced manager we need all senior players focused and willing to fight for the cause. It’s very unfortunate how the relationship between the fans and Xhaka has fractured he is a top player and I have a lot of respect for him but if his heads turned and wants to leave then I think it’s better the club let him go, the team doesn’t need any distractions right now and to the fans all I can do is plead with them to support all the players as long as they wear the shirt cause… Read more »

NMArsenal
NMArsenal
5 months ago

As much as Guendouzi is promising he is not doing well for Arsenal at the moment. Xhaka remains the most reliable option for now. Maybe Arteta could risk Caballos was he is fit but right now Arsenal needs Xhaka.

Ben Eagerbeaver
5 months ago

Just exactly what happened to the Willock that replaced Ozil in Baku last season? Boy seems to be scared of doing even the simple things this time round. Same with Nelson; playing as though he is inferior. These kids need a real talking to.

I won’t even mention Guendouzi; seems really off the pace and too slow and light weight, he was almost the only one slowing down the midfield yesterday and hanging too much on the ball.

Terrible!

Arteta please be ruthless as promised!?

Chem
Chem
4 months ago

I agree with many of them how are saying that Xhaka is not fast, but is one of them how can finish the game in same level of intensity
Look second half of the game with Chelsea , except our golscorer no one is raning…..