Monday, September 25, 2023

Arteta: Xhaka is staying at Arsenal

Mikel Arteta says Granit Xhaka will stay at Arsenal this season after his proposed transfer to AS Roma fell through.

The Switzerland international was known to be keen on a move to the Italian capital, where he was due to link up with Jose Mourinho, but the Serie A outfit failed to table an offer of interest to the Gunners.

Instead, it now sounds like the midfielder could be handed a contract extension at the Emirates.

Xhaka was on the scoresheet as the Gunners lost 2-1 to Chelsea on Sunday and afterwards the boss said: “Granit is going to stay with us. He’s a player that we rate and value so much and is a key member of our squad.

“He’s trained two days, he wanted to play today and it’s very clear the commitment from his side that he wants to be here.”

While Xhaka’s future may be clear, there remain question marks over a host of other first team players including Hector Bellerin, Joe Willock, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Eddie Nketiah, Lucas Torreira and Willian.

Asked if he’s expecting any outgoings, Arteta said: “I don’t know. I’m going to coach, respect and look after everybody because they are our players and try to maximise their qualities and hopefully they can have their minds here and prepare here because they are Arsenal players.”

The boss had earlier revealed that Thomas Partey had suffered an ankle injury that “is not looking good” leading to suggestions the Ghanaian could miss the season opener with Brentford on 13 August.

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Having him on the books this season is not the biggest problem.


indeed.Now divert that money towards AM.


Ya.. we can’t depend on only ESR all season.. someone with experience will do. We shouldn’t pump Soo much cash on odegaard. We have other voids to fill

Cultured Determination

I have a feeling saka will play AM in ESR’s absence if we dont get odegaard. We should play both esr and odegaard and sit partey or lokongo in DM. Xhaka can be a handy sub. Done relying on his shit


Actually if we played Xhaka how he is built to play, he’d be quite a bit better than people are used to. We just don’t have the supporting cast to let him play more naturally. We ask him to basically be a DM when he didn’t have the skill set or athleticism to do so. Yet we never hear a complaint from him about his position. Good team player. Coaches and players love him. Think we’re better off keeping him and offloading other midfielders is possible.

Teta's cult of personality

Will you be saying the same thing after January 1st 2022?

If Xhaka is no longer leaving, can we even call this a rebuild anymore?


It’s a rebuild the day Kroenke walks out the club.

Till then I’d take a fighting young team that enjoys competing and doesn’t self-combust under unrelenting pressure from it’s supporters.


It stopped being a rebuild the day Saliba wasn’t registered last October.

Listen to Arteta or the players. It’s always about how we “need” to be “back” in the Champions League. Which is why we can’t “afford” to rely on ___ (Saliba, Martinelli, Willock, Gnabry…)
Once again they think they’ll juuust about toe over the line if they get one more year of ___ (Xhaka, Lacazette, Koscielny…)

Doing the same thing and expecting different results.


If he stays, I’d rather see Lokonga start ahead of him. Lokonga can pass with both feet and is far, far quicker than Xhaka. Him and Partey would probably be the quickest midfield pivot in the league. Such pace in our midfield pivot would completely change our game. We can play the high line and trust their recovery pace. No more joggers. Lokonga brings leadership qualities. Whatever Xhaka can do, Lokonga can do as well. And best of all, he appears to have the concentration and composure which is needed to have security in possession.

Martin R

It’s not even a problem. He was immense last season


The issue is we have to structure the team to hide his weaknesses, which effectively dictates a much slower moving defensive type structure. That’s had massive knock on effects on our offense – the real issue the past 18 months. Xhaka had a good season but the reality is he’s not good enough for where we want to be.

Tanned arse

Beyond this, whilst he had what he himself called a good season personally (quite arrogantly I thought) , he brings down the potential levels of the team and certainly brought down the level of partey beside him. We’ve already seen how partey looks pre-season when he’s allowed to dictate (he’s been a totally different player and the impact on how we play is transformative). If people want to assess his qualities as a footballer and the individual moments in game and say ‘that pass was excellent’ then fine but for my mind it really is missing the point of what… Read more »


Yeah, that’s what Burnley said too.


How is it not a problem? The guy has serially under performed since he’s been at the club. An average Serie A side are trying to sign him for £12-15M. If he were anywhere near as good as people are making him out to be then one of if not both of the following things would have happened; 1) We would’ve finished in the top 4 at least once or twice during his time here. 2) Other top teams around Europe would be willing to offer more than £12-15M for him.. Ultimately though — that team we saw lose this… Read more »


The problem with our problems is that they are problematically too many

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Maybe not the biggest, but still a very big problem.

Imagine Xhaka or Elneny being at Chelsea or with Guardiola. They wouldn’t make it into the 2nd season, they’d be sold for a profit before everybody realises just how bad they are.
Only at Arsenal would somebody as bad as Xhaka be in the first 11 for 5 years, or Elneny making the bench after how many years


And yet people STILL back the owners, the board and the manager.


But it’s a problem nonetheless. And it’s symptomatic of all this talk from Arteta and Co. about improving the team and effecting change being rendered nothing more than talk. Hot air. Seriously, Ben White is all we have to show for this summer’s transfer window new major signings (ESR’s new contract not withstanding) then this manager and this board can have no complaints whatsoever about no one trusting a single fucking word that comes out of their condescending mouths ever again. I didn’t anyway. I knew this summer would be yet another example of the hierarchy’s ineptitude and complete inability… Read more »


*(Seriously) if (Ben White)


Great but we still need a cm. Elneny is looking really poor and should be off and Partey seems a bit injury prone so we really, really need another good option.

Group captain mandrake

Partey’s injury record here must be the result of a curse or something. He was almost never injured previous to coming to Arsenal.

Teta's cult of personality

It’s so strange how he’s become injury prone under us. Some of the “less superstitious” stuff I’d put it down to are perhaps a different training regimen and a cooler climate.

The Far Post

A different league could also be a factor.

Teta's cult of personality

Yes of course


Less so if it happens in preseason.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Is he really injury prone though, Or just unlucky?

He had his first injury after playing many games in quick succession, in a colder climate than he’s used to, and in a faster tempo league.
He got rushed back and became injured again.
Yesterday’s was a contact injury which could happen to anybody at any time


I hope it’s not a serious one, just a knock or a badly twisted ankle. He’s looking so solid. And would be such a shame if he’s out for longer, a 2-3 month long injury + AFCON means it’ll be the second season in a row he’s barely played football for us.


He gets caught all the time because he’s not aware of what’s going on around him. He’s quite slow in some ways and hasn’t adapted to the speed of English football. He also seems quite brittle and injury prone. I wasn’t impressed with him last season, too many poor passes, and was hoping he’s have a really good second season. He actually looks exactly the same, some excellent, silky smooth play to get your hopes up, caught on the ball and injured again. I honestly don’t know what to make of him.


You lack foot sense




Injuries? You name me one player who takes the field hoping to be injured. Prior to joining us, Thomas Partey had a clean bill of health – make of that what you will. He wins the ball with timed tackles that your idol Xhaka can only dream of. And if his play and distribution has been seemingly poor, it’s only because it’s constantly sideways and backwards – in other words, exactly what this so-called manager has asked him to do. It doesn’t take Jimmy Hill to see why he gets frustrated and takes the occasional hopeful pot shot from thirty… Read more »


Well muscle injuries are different than injuries inflicted by an idiot who challenges from behind.


I’d venturea guess that la Liga is also not as physical or physically demanding. These two features definitely will result in greater injury occurrences.


Imagine us back here again wondering about the quality of Xhaka and Mo. SMH.


Shame we didn’t get the money we wanted but it’s not like it was Willian half way out the door and then making an unwelcome return. I can live with another season of Xhaka in the team.


I certainly can’t.
I’m sick to death of this player.
We need to give Partey the keys to the midfield right now. Not this half-baked solution. Another season in midtable beckons.


Granit is a really good player for us, tough and hardly ever injured, a fighter and leader on the pitch. He was our best midfielder today and scored a very good goal. I just can’t get my head around all this hate. Give the keys to Partey? He’s injured again, will probably get back up to speed in time to go to AFCON, won’t play a decent game for us until after that, if he’s not injured again. I’ll take the “half baked solution” thank you.


The problem with Xhaka is that the whole team is modified to play at his strengths …and that team sucks

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

So we play him in a position that isn’t his, and then build the rest of the team around him to play to his strengths in that position that isn’t his? Seems to me we should have got a decent player in who actually is a DM and then let Xhaka play his normal game. This “Xhaka problem” really isn’t Xhaka’s problem. It’s a squad balance problem that has needed fixing for years now. I reckon we might all be hating on Saka if he was being played, let’s say… in goal and then we built the rest of the… Read more »


Partey certainly was underwhelming last season. This season he needs to step up.


It might just have something to do with the fact that he and the rest of the team were ‘instructed’ (ordered) by Arteta to play an underwhelming brand of football…..


All coaches and teammates love him. Arm chair critics hate him. Who do you think is right…?


Are you a coach or a fellow team mate?

If not, that makes you an armchair critic like the rest of us.


Our manager loves him so much he played him at left back despite plety of evidence that it didn’t work at all.
Maybe he’s not that smart.

The teammates would no doubt prefer a player who can get the team to the Champions League – something Xhaka has never done.

If they don’t, they shouldn’t be here.


We’re eighth.

If he’s a fighter and a leader, he’s a shit fighter and leader.

We’ve tried to build the team around Granit Xhaka – you really can’t play him otherwise – it hasn’t worked.

We should throw him away like a captain’s armband.


Keep ‘em coming mate. This one had me cackling like Sid James in a ‘Carry On’ movie.




I can also live with it.

The question is – can the team improve with Xhaka in the team?
I doubt it, hasn’t happened yet.

Public Elneny


Public Elneny

To the people who say he’s actually not that bad and we have far worse players on our books – yes I agree. He’s upper mid table/Europa League quality

But the problem is he’s such a key player for us in both a positive and negative sense. So much of our build up play goes through him, he defines how we play more than any other player imo

When you have a player playing such a key role who is upper mid table/Europa League quality, guess where you’re likely to finish


So one average player(by your words), defines the fate of the whole team? Ya right😒

Public Elneny

When you have a deep lying playmaker who plays almost every game, loves to get on the ball and dictate play; but is only effective when given time and space, in a league where you get very little of that. Who cannot evade pressure so resorts to slow, deliberate, safe backwards and sideways passing, what kind of football is the team as a whole likely to play? You can mitigate his weaknesses by surrounding him in all directions with top quality, but far simpler and cheaper to upgrade this one vital position No such thing as fate in sport, but… Read more »


Superbly put my friend.
He defines the way we play and handicaps the whole team with has limitations. How can people not see the ceiling we have with him after 5, FIVE seasons is beyond me.
The time to move on was last year. I seriously cannot take any more of this guy in our shirt.


This is a player who readily slots in for a bombing LB. Your expectations are too high. Jordan Henderson and Milner would be kit men in your fantasy team.


His passing is safe because the coaches want it that way. He won’t do dribbles and one-twos but Xhaka is an acceptable player in the mould of Xabi Alonso and Gareth Barry. Guess who did these two play alongside when they were winners?

Teta's cult of personality

Xhaka is in possession of the ball considerably more than the next highest Arsenal player. He might not define our fate but he certainly dictates our tempo during build-up play. Our current tempo is more akin to a grandfather clock when it should be more like a digital stopwatch.

Goonersaurus Flex

He is in possession because our other midfielders haven’t been good enough. There were games he missed where we were awful, couldn’t get the ball out of our own half. If he dictates the play, it’s because he’s the only one who can. Mourinho basically said he was a genius. Even if you hate the guy, that means he’s at least not as bad as fans say.


To be fair, one average player literally defines the fate of the whole team, seeing as he’s the manager now.

The half

Better than Elneny…

Public Elneny

True, but Elneny doesn’t define the way we play like Xhaka does

The half

Doesn’t matter what the philosophy is with Elneny on the pitch, giving the ball away.


There is no philosophy, this is just making it up as you go along.


Elneny doesn’t really give the ball away much. He actually had the highest pass completion ratio in the team last season (93% – Whoscored). Problem is that most of those passes are short, sideways, backwards, and generally have no penetration or ambition, and so I agree, we need an upgrade… but let’s not just make stuff about him to suit the narrative.

Parisian Weetabix

Being barely more than competent still ‘defines the way we play’. It’s just that Elneny doesn’t have any attributes that are worth building the team around. He’s the most generic midfielder I’ve ever seen, which to be honest defines us as well as anything. He fails to make the team better or worse; he just buzzes around being boring and competent. Every time he gets the ball I feel like Doctor Strange seeing all the other timelines where he makes some assertive dribble or plays the forward pass, because using your imagination is the only way you can enjoy what… Read more »


Remember that he – and the rest of the squad – have been ‘instructed’ (ordered) to pass backwards and sideways.

Elneny is a bread and butter player, but the staleness comes from the little bloke in the dugout.


I couldn’t agree more. This is such a bad idea for Arteta. Xhaka is such a safe option for him and he’s going to get stuck in the same old mindset. We need change and to do things differently this season. The decision to keep xhaka represents the option of stability and mediocrity. It’s a bit of a cop out. Now we will be relying on him to sign an extension and he represents a major road-block to minutes for IMO our most promising signing of the summer (Lokonga) who actually represents a new way of doing things. This could… Read more »


Whatever you think of Xhaka, the fact is we have never qualified for the Champions League during his time at the club

Martin R

That applies to several other players too. Why single out Xhaka?

Dave Cee

And most of them can hit the road too


Because the other players want to play for Arsenal.

This big kid is only out for himself and the sooner we throw him away the same way he threw the Captain’s armband away, the better.


Yeh, neither has Auba..

Teta's cult of personality

Auba arrived 1.5 seasons after we dropped out of the Champions League. Xhaka has actually played Champions League football at this club. Even if Auba is not the same player as before there’s a clear difference between the impact he had on the club vs what Xhaka had.

Al Gilmore

And yet the stats show a marked difference negatively in our results when he was not in the team.

I think if we put legs around him in midfield it wouldn’t be such an issue either.

Don’t get me wrong I was happy enough to see him go as long as we upgraded but the £ being offered for an International captain was derisory.


“And yet the stats show a marked difference negatively in our results when he was not in the team.”

Only because we didn’t have an adequate replacement? A damning indictment of the squad rather than an endorsement of Xhaka’s prowess.

Bleeding gums murphy

Well said sir


Spot on. Since he joined we never made top 4


Since Tierney joined, we’ve only ever finished eighth, whereas we finished fifth the season before he joined. Clear proof, by your logic, that Tierney is the reason for us dropping so low. Whilst Fabregas, van Persie, Rosicky, Ramsey, Wilshere played in the first team for Arsenal, we never won the league. Solid proof, by your logic, that they were all shit players.


Well said. I remember when teams like Barca, Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea used to want our players to make their team better. But now, no top European side is coming for our “key player” anymore.


The fact that only Roma wanted to pay a pittance for him says it all.

To call him bang average is actually flattering him.


This nails it, absolutely spot on. It’s not that Xhaka is a bad player, but he’s not good enough to be the lynchpin of a CL side, nor does his style fit an aggressive attacking team. Selling him (or benching him) was a chance to evolve the team and our style, which has frankly been stuck in a rut since he became our main man. Looks like it’s a chance that will go begging….


Enlighten us then, who would you play in mid?



The rest of the club footballing world seems to cope without Xhaka…..

Bleeding gums murphy

Can it get any worse and the season ain’t started yet? He don’t even want to be here.


I’m not his biggest fan.

In fact I’d have had him out a few seasons ago.

But credit where it’s due; he never fails to give it everything when he pulls on the shirt. I have no worries about that.


Here we go


Painful, isn’t it?


Well, we not complaining about Xhaka now.. Trim the squad and get us quality Arteta.. we should get another AMF to cover for ESR(one with experience will be good), a GK better than error prone Leno, a RB and honestly we need a striker please..
Let’s keep Willock instead of signing another CM for now but really Arteta’s got to trim this squad.


That is OK, but where will Arteta goes?


What is sentence write?


Very good. Creative midfielder and super striker needed. Plus a good clear out. Deadwood brings bad vibes

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

Bloody great…exact same midfield with Xhaka & Elneny to partner Partey…Will have to shift Wilock for sure now instead of Xhaka…


why willock !!! elneny should be shifted

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

Because Elneny won’t bring in cash needed to buy other players. Xhaka was one of the few that could generate a decent amount…


Fine. But dont expect to break into the top 4 anytime soon if the players that get you to 8th are still here. Upgrades needed for Elneny, Xhaka, Bellerin for a start……


Ditto Cedric.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

We’re now a midtable team with midtable finances and a lower league owner. We just spent pretty much our entire war kitty on one player. We can’t get any more players to push us to the top 4 because we can’t afford them. Our new reality is the same reality that 95% of English clubs have been living with forever. We can only get the money by selling our best players, but we can’t afford to buy younger players of similar, let alone better, quality because younger players always sell for a premium. We also tend to desperately hold on… Read more »

Merlin’s Panini

As long as a contract extension doesn’t mean a pay rise I guess it’s palatable. We don’t want to be stuck in the situation we have been with others. Personally I would rather have sold him or let him see out his contract than offer him another one.
Not a bad player, just not someone you want as a first choice option.


From what I have read, the extension does mean a pay rise. (Fabrizio romano, Chris wheatley, David Ornstein) i believed the words they used were “improved contract”


If there wasn’t a pay rise, I don’t see the incentive for Xhaka to sign.


If the contract was the same money for a few more years, it would absolutely be an incentive for Xhaka, because nobody else will pay him what we are.


Roma were apparently willing to at least match his salary, and that’s while paying a transfer fee. I’m sure he’d be fine as a free agent.

It’s Xhakonga time.


I think this could work well.


I’m delighted with this. I think he is a fine player, excellent passer of the ball, competitive, never hides. It’s not his fault we’ve been overly reliant on him to make our passing game flow.


If we are gonna keep Xhaka We should still buy another CM , sell elneny (i can’t believe he is still starting and blocking minutes for youngsters) and torreira(however i like torreira but he doesn’t seem to want to be here)

Don Cazorleone


Merlin's Panini

I keep forgetting about Torreira!

Man Manny

XhakaLonga looking likely for Brentford.
But Elneny could put a spanner in the works.


Not happy or sad about the decision, but I am peeved at the fact we might have to start a new project with a different manager in a couple of months..





He made on incredible pass today, but you just never know when that mistake will come. To be fair, he’ll have some catching up to do with Bellerin and Leno after today.


Xhaka: hold my beer

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Yes I know there’s only so much a manager can say but freakin’ read the room Arsenal top brass, we don’t want him.


Speak for yourself, I like him and I hink that what he does for the team is underrated.



What he did for the team up at Burnley last season was special.


Are you saying he’s been taken for …. Granit?


If arteta thinks he is “key” we have a long season ahead of us…

Sure keep him as backup but if he plays ahead of azeez or Lokonga we are just prolonging our bad form…


Of course he is.

No one wants him. Says it all.


xhaka is not athletic enough to play the way we apparently want to play; him staying makes us slow as ever in possession.


Such a bad decision from arteta, this is arsenal football club! A player of xhaka’s limitations should have never even got close to being first team week in week out for us when we all want to see the slick free flowing football that became the norm during the wenger era, he simply doesn’t have it in his locker to play that way. And I can’t be the only one who thinks he’s exactly the same player he was when we signed him, I haven’t noticed a single thing about his game that has improved since he joined us –… Read more »


Bang on!!!


Everybody saying that it would be better to sell Xhaka for 15M pounds imagine this: Say we sold him for 15M pounds. We would still need to spend big on his replacement ~45M pounds. His staying does not prevent that signing because his sale was not generating that much cash anyway. Secondly, a squad player in Xhaka to fall back on if the new signing does not work out is worth keeping. All in all, keeping Xhaka rather than sell for 15M pounds is good for the team. And the fact that he played, scored and got appreciated today should… Read more »


I don’t have any issues with him staying at the club, as long as he is not the first choice anymore – and doesn’t get a pay rise.
He would be a great back-up indeed, experienced, professional, charismatic, albeit on rather high fees.
But I have a feeling we won’t see a new midfield signing, so all that’s left is hoping Lokonga has a hell of a start, and forces his way into the first team.

Perry Farrell’s Satellite Partey

my fav part of this comment is how it treats $15m as essentially meaningless. In what world does KSE just not care about every penny (and this might be my only non-complaint about KSE)?

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

15 million is one third of 45 million. Given that that is the likely cost of his BETTER replacement then yes, it is meaningless.


great…another outside top 4 finish!


I’d get used to them if I were you. At least while we’ve got Kroenke and Arteta at the club.


Fuck xhaka, should have been out the door long time ago. Mediocrity still lives in our club and mikel is just prolonging it. They need to go along with edu, willian which is a mission impossible, cedric, laca, mo, hector… Too many still.


The worst possible news.


Keep him on board but no new contract. 29 at the end of Sep. Even if we extended his contract no-ones going to spend 20m next year on someone turning 30. Only taker at 10m now. A new contract means 2 more years from then which he’d likely sit out or we’d pay him to leave. At his age and current market there’s no value to protect.

Billy bob

Perhaps Arteta is saying this to make other clubs realise we are not a push over in the transfer market – would anyone complain if we did sell xhaka for near £20m towards the end of the transfer window?


Was a junior gunner from moment of birth in 1989. I actually draw the line as a fan on this one – never have I objected to a player so strongly. Nobody cares but I’m actually going to peacefully protest Xhakas further inclusion in our club by sitting this season out. I need to find a job anyway! see you all when he’s gone and thanks for everything arseblog


Here we go again.

Mo’ Granit, no top-4.


Did you really expect anything different?

I didn’t.


Xhaka looks like a player that would be immense in a properly functional team.
Yet he’s been comfortably above average in a very poor Arsenal team in the past few years. Always fit and ready to play anywhere. He’s not our worst player so I’d be happy to keep him as a squad player.


Problem is, properly functional teams seem to disagree.

If Xhaka were half as good as some people here seem convinced he is, we’d have a buch of teams bidding way more than the £20 million valuation.
Instead we have ONE team, managed by one of the most conservative coaches in Europe, bidding about half.

If no one wants to buy your player, it says something about that player.

Hank Scorpio

He’d be great in Serie A I think. Maybe we should move the team to Serie A


Good! Now give him the armband back.


Please be joking




Having a reliable AM will counter any Xhaka’s negative. I think Partey/Lokonga pairing should be given preference now, Xhaka should be a squad player like Elneny to see out games. I think our present structure dictates that we play safe because of our obvious creativity problem. When we get a midfielder with technical ability to turn and confidently move past his man and deliver a pass, Xhaka will actually become more valuable DM in that scenario. Tierney/Nuno – Gabriel – White – Chambers will improve our defence.


I suspect we’re going to languish outside the top 4 again. Our midfield options have been limited for several years now, since Ozil decided he was too good to actually play well for us.
Xhaka is a journeyman defensive midfielder in my opinion. I’m not sure why the powers that be can’t invest sufficient time, energy and resources into finding the necessary talent the midfield requires.
Looks like we’ll be good defensively with 2/3 of the squad allocated to central defensive duties and right back duties. 🙂


You had me until you blamed Ozil for our Kroenke imposed lack of quality players.


What a crap outcome. Xhaka has calmed his naughty schoolboy routine a bit but still racks up the yellow cards and fouls. He is an average player. This decision shows a distinct lack of ambition by Arsenal. Same old, same old.

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