It was barely two weeks ago when Granit Xhaka’s agent – clearly with the blessing of the player – went public with the news that the midfielder wanted to leave Arsenal and join Hertha Berlin.

It came not long after Mikel Arteta had been appointed as Arsenal manager, and it felt very much like the Swiss international’s future lay elsewhere.

However, it now seems that a detente has been reached and that the 27 year old will stay, at least until the end of the season – giving us time to source a summer replacement.

Xhaka’s relationship with the fans, and the club under Unai Emery’s watch, has been strained to say the least, but with midfield options fairly limited, Arteta sought to try and calm the waters.

“The first message for him was that I wanted to understand how he was feeling, why he was feeling that way,” he said.

“I wanted him to hear from me my opinion on him, and that I was ready to support him and that I was ready to push the club to be supportive of him too, because I thought he could be a really, really good player for us and he could enjoy playing under me in this football club.

“I tried to convince him that way. He thought about it, he had a very positive response afterwards, and I think he changed his mind.”

It also sounds as if Arteta will be laying down some ground rules for his players when it comes to interactions with fans online and off so as to avoid a similar situation.

“Every club has its own issues,” he said. “Some things come within the club, some within the media, some from social media.

“It’s very difficult nowadays to have one full year where everything is perfect. It’s the environment, we have to deal with that and hopefully in a few months nobody remembers those issues.

“Of course it’s not ideal when players respond and it creates an instability. So as much as we can avoid it, the better.”

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La Défense
La Défense

Top stuff from Arteta, top man!

Pooner
Pooner

First bad thing Arteta’s done…!

PGunner
PGunner

I disagree mate, like him or loathe him, Xhaka has been much better since Arteta has taken the reigns and we clearly need his experience in midfield until at least the end of the season as Guendouzi or Willock just aren’t there yet.

I think it speaks volumes for his man management ability as well, as it’s pretty clear that Xhaka is a stubborn fella.

Hope Arteta continues to make decisions for the good of building a cohesive team and not to appease fan sentiment. Shows metal in my opinion.

Pooner
Pooner

#Artetaout 😉

Essy
Essy

@P gunner you are very intelligent and I agree with your comment even Arteta wouldn’t have said it better

TCGNR
TCGNR

Pooner’s a Spud, what can you do.

Martin
Martin

So Wenger, Emery, the manager of Switzerland and now Arteta is wrong and you know better?

Pooner
Pooner

Yes. I am a footballing God. I’ve erected my temple on the highest peak of Mount Football and all through the ages coaches from around the world have ventured here across treacherous terrain filled with JohnTerryish ghouls and Shawcrossian orcs to witness me sitting in my pants shouting “cunt” at the TV every time Xhaka gives away a penalty.

Wenger was here back in 1803, before either of us were born, he smuggled in a miniature Pat Rice in his back pocket, and the little bugger stole my series of homoerotic tactical sketches of Robert Pires marauding down the wing. He also nabbed a post-it I had on my fridge that said: “Go a whole season unbeaten.” Cheeky bastard nicked all my good ideas.

John
John

Ottmar Hitzfeld, who won the Bundesliga seven times with Dortmund and Bayern, as well as the Champions’ League once each, said that he thought Xhaka would end up at Bayern or Barça.

But Pooner might know better..

Dave
Dave

I can’t say for sure how accurate what I’m gonna say was back in the day, but when we went for Xhaka, aparently Bayern was chasing him to replace Xabi Alonso. Take it with a grain of salt, but he always been highly thought of by many managers. Just because we think he isn’t as good as we would like doesn’t mean he is a bad player and many managers have liked him. Maybe in the right setup he could thrive and he is doing a lot better now under Mikel

Andre Santos' car keys
Andre Santos' car keys

Just did a little googling and it did confirm what I as well remember — Bayern were considering going in for him both before and after he came to Arsenal. I’m glad he’s staying despite everything. Hope he can keep his head screwed on straight.

Peter Story Teller
Peter Story Teller

I’m not Xhaka’s biggest fan and would quite happily waved goodbye as he headed to Berlin but you have to applaud Arteta for his man management skills with a visible improvement not only with Xhaka but many other players in a matter of weeks when his predecessor floundered for months with deterioration rather than improvement in team morale and performance.

Runzac
Runzac

The key word there is Man management. Well done Arteta. Then there are the tactical changes. Nullify Xhaka´s weaknesses and he has very valuable skills that benefit the team. With Torreira deployed in his best position Xhaka will do fine. For the future a more allround top quality midfilder would bring us closer to winning trophies.

Goonerink
Goonerink

Oh imma be that guy…man management is two words. Spot on analysis from most of these comments though.

GeoffRey Hurstmaker
GeoffRey Hurstmaker

I love it when Xhaka is out on the left hitting big diagonal balls. I’ve noticed lately he seems to be making a few more runs through the center of the pitch. If he could figure out how to set himself up for a shot, that would be sweet.

Kaleja
Kaleja

Let him play good for the reminder of a season then when we decide to sell him in the summer his value will be up, it will surely be a good business.

Plus getting any good Midfielder in January might be a little bit challenging.

Ourchildrensworld

Agreed.

I think selling him will still be the best decision because he struggles to grasp the pace of this league.

He’s not a bad player. And Arteta will certainly empower/upskill him to fit the system more than our previous managers.

Even if he isn’t a long-term option.

An Arsenal midfield with Torreira, Guendouzi and a creative, intelligent, rangy passer would give us a real chance next year.

But those midfielders aren’t available in this window. Certainly not with our budget. We should be using Willock more in the meantime and allowing Guendouzi to develop his own role, consistently. And with AMN for back up and the extremely capable Ceballos Available, it’s not the area we should prioritise this window.

We need a CB. That’s it.

Kolasinac
Kolasinac

I wonder who would replace Torreira´s and even Xhaka´s role if they got injured or something. As Andrew Allan mentioned on Arsecast we need someone else to be able to do a similar job as Torreira as he looks vitally important in this team. Maybe we need one more name in there even if Xhaka stays. What do you think about that guy – Boubakary Soumaré as an alternative to Torreira/ upgrade or an alternative option to Granit Xhaka ? Good technique, power, composure, seems good defensively. I suspect though that there would be interest from more clubs so he would have to choose Arsenal much like Saliba did. I am sure there are also few other names (Camavinga, Partey – that type of players) who could potentially be good acquisitions in CM. The thing is how would a potential addition affect Willock and Guendouzi (I have my concerns about the defensive part of their games at present. They can get better in that though in the future – Guendouzi is showing flashes and Willock seems to have a tackle in him. And I liked that goal line clearance he made in one game, I don´t know against whom it was now. I would like to see more of Joe in a deeper position compared to a number 10 and see how he does there. He would be maybe able to make more of those late runs in the attacking third as well.) who need the game time as well in midfield so it´s a little bit tricky situation. I didn´t even mention CB as everybody knows we need an addition there. I also heard very recently that Lille are willing to let Soumaré go this month.

Flash
Flash

Well said! Also would be interesting to bring his compatriot D. Zakaria to the club, who is also very highly rated with quite impressive stats.

HoldenontoArsenal
HoldenontoArsenal

Maitland-Niles?

Goonerink
Goonerink

If he wasn’t injured I’d have chambers as my 3RE choice defensive mid.

Snc
Snc

It was a complete mess under Emery. Fans turning on one another, fans and players aren’t aligned, players themselves arent even cohesive on the pitch. I dun rmb it was this bad during Wenger’s last few seasons. While the board and players are also to blame. Much of it lies with Emery. His tactical decisions, choosing of captains, losing the dressing room contributed to all this. It was unfortunate that xhaka got the receiving end during tt game. Still baffling that the board took so long to fire Emery. Arteta has come and steady the ship and players are responding well. Hope we get to see the best of xhaka and also for everyone else to step up. Coyg

StockholmGooner
StockholmGooner

Great stuff, although it feels like this particular story has been recycled so many times.

OnlyBeingHonest
OnlyBeingHonest

every single time I’ve heard Arteta speak he was been brilliant, absolutely brilliant, we could be on to a winner here lads…

Da Boss
Da Boss

Loving Mr. No Nonsense Arteta – seems to have got the dressing room on board quickly and the fans. Whilst I am not expecting major moves this transfer window, I hope the board back him up properly in the summer and start shaping this team the way he wants it. It’s been a few seasons since feeling genuine optimism and it feels bloody lovely. Ya Gunners Ya.

YaGunnersYa
YaGunnersYa

I agree! Wenger and Arsenal seemed like such a good fit after he joined. I hope Arteta too will lead us to to unabated glory akin to those halcyon days of yore.

Rich
Rich

Xhaka is our best centre mid.

djourou's nutmeg
djourou's nutmeg

you talk about looking for a replacement next summer, but you don’t know whether he will actually leave on summer… why can’t you consider that he’s in fact a good player and that he could stay with us for longer? he stays, the club wants him to stay and launch this social media stuff about being all together, his teammates and coach also want him to stay, and yet you keep suggesting a january or summer move everytime you mention him… at least you stopped harassing him but get over it already he’s staying ffs

Vonnie
Vonnie

Agreed, I’d be happy if he stays.

Wengerballz
Wengerballz

No surprise Arteta likes Xhaka, he was a very similar player: great passer from deep but slow and limited defensively.

Rich
Rich

Arteta wasn’t slow, he regularly recorded speeds amongst the highest at the club.

Same with Cesc.

Wengerballz
Wengerballz

?
Source?

Lack of Perspective
Lack of Perspective

Arteta was proof that even if you have limitations you can be a massive player

Goonerink
Goonerink

Yeah but no disrespect to Emery or xhaka but arteta has intelligence levels similar to le prof, which dwarf the formers levels.

Damobot
Damobot

Put Xhaka in a great team, he will be a great player, put him in a rubbish team he would be the same. Same goes for Ozil. A midfielders role is more difficult than a striker or a defender because they rely on the players in front of them to move and and show for the ball to make their lives easier. If the team is static then midfielders run out of ideas and are under pressure in seconds.

Henrik
Henrik

If we cant replace him better keep. Thats the story i guess.

DaDude

As it seems the club bosses are tolerating the shameful behaviour of this player and the damage he has done to the reputation of this club, Mikel might as well get the best out of him. While I rate Xhaka as a player, I still believe that due to behavioural issues, he should currently be suspended and not play for this club again. However, I understand Mikel that he uses what he has on offer and the behavioural issues happened before his reign, so if the club bosses allow Xhaka to be in the squad, the coach should use him.
His last games were quite good, however, that doesn’t change the fact that I personally would prefer to not see him wear our shirt again.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

I get this point of view 100%, though personally I’m over it. It sets a bad precedent, not just the incident but his reaction afterwards. After his half-arsed apology and rather self-satisfied interview I was just done with him, it all smacked of the kind of arrogance, petulance and mental weakness. But now I guess it’s time to be practical and move on. If Arteta can get a tune out of him then he might as well stay for now.

HoldenontoArsenal
HoldenontoArsenal

Arteta vs Mob 1-0 … let’s hope he can keep them in their place….not managing our club

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Despite what people think about Xhaka, in general or that particular incident, I think Arteta has closed the book on this one for now. Let’s just hope Xhaka continues to repay his faith in him.

FissionMailed
FissionMailed

This is good news – Xhaka’s looked like a different player since Emery left.
Even under Freddy, performances were improved and he’s playing well in this new system.

Not saying everything is fixed. But I think he’s got more value to us now. Or if he wants to move on, we may be able to point to the improvement to get a higher fee.

His improvement is a good thing for everybody.

Santori
Santori

The correct thing to do.

As is, we have capability gaps all over the pitch. The last thing you need is a senior player who has been better than some prefer to think, leaving.

Just to temper with some common sense, it wasn’t exactly as if the midfield was any better without Granit and with Torreira.

In fact, if anything, midfield efficacy is dependent on both attack and defense also being in sync, closing gaps and pressing as a unit.

Guendouzi AND Torreira have also made their fair share of lousy passes and both have been positionally caught high many times isolating the Swiss and leaving him to cover too much ground.

This has changed with Arteta giving particularly Torreira a brief to sit deeper with more rigidity.

AND our best midfield has been thus Torreira AND Granit. In fact last match second half, GUendouzi and Granit also came to better working arrangement.

So why would you want Granit to leave now? It would be utterly stupid.

Particularly as options in market will be tight for a replacement. And even if say got Emre Can on loan, the preference would be to have him in for depth rather than as a replacement. BC one injury to either Granit or Torreira would leave us thin again in deep midfield.

If you think Willock can step up, it is a MASSIVE risk again.

Aside from that on a personal level, Arteta would have reminded Granit that a move to say Hertha is a poor choice. We flatter to deceive but there isn’t even Europa football with Berlin.

So makes a lot of sense to me. Probably will disappoint those fans who have imaginary believes that we are going to make highly unlikely press suggested wholesale changes in January and get rid of their favorite scapegoats.

Reality a very different thing…:D

Marco
Marco

I wondered when Emre Can would be mentioned again in one of your comments.

GeoffRey Hurstmaker
GeoffRey Hurstmaker

Emre Chan is a right-footed Xhaka that scored a cool goal once.

dholio
dholio

I get it. We’re light in midfield and to lose him now would only hurt the club’s early progress under Arteta. If Berlin are offering the same deal in the summer where we have time to identify suitable replacements and upgrade on Xhaka, I think we should do it.
His play has improved under Arteta, but who’s not afraid when he receives a short pass in our end with back turned to the opposition? I just don’t think the Prem is suited for him. He could thrive in Italy or Germany.
But as long as he is a Gunner, he should get full support.