Thursday, April 25, 2024

Report: Xhaka set for summer departure

According to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, Granit Xhaka will leave Arsenal this summer.

The Swiss international has had probably his best season in red and white, scoring 7 goals and providing 7 assists throughout the campaign.

He signed a new Arsenal contract last year, giving the club an option on him until 2025, but it seems as if he could be on his way, allowing the Gunners to recoup some money for a player who cost £35m back in 2016.

Now 30 years of age (turning 31 in September but until then he remains 30, that’s how it works), Xhaka has had an eventful career in North London – winning two FA Cups under Arsene Wenger in 2017 and Mikel Arteta in 2020.

It does feel slightly surprising that he would want to leave after helping the club back into the Champions League, but there are suggestions there may be family motives at play.

There are also strong rumours about Arsenal’s desire to add both Moises Caicedo and Declan Rice to the midfield roster during the summer, and that can’t happen without at least one or two players going. Perhaps Xhaka will be one.

Still, there are two games to go, Xhaka hasn’t said anything yet, and all eyes will be on the way he waves after the final home game of the season against Wolves next week.

That might tell us something.

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Derek CT

I read about this last week and wondered then if it might impact the squad negatively. Not the greatest timing, tbh.

Still__gaming

A bit of a liability at times, but a good servant, never injured and always picked by the managers.

Strange timing but probably the right time for moving the club forward.

Mayor McCheese

I’m pleased he got to leave on a high. Not the title, of course, but he was instrumental this season (his best in an Arsenal shirt) in propelling us back into the Champions Leagues places, and finishing improbably high in the table considering the squad and expectations. Managers and teammates love him, and so did I after watching the Amazon doc!

Daan52

I really hoped he would come and play in the Champions League with us. Actually gutted to see him leave, my favourite Arsenal player at the moment. However, vert happy he can leave us with his head helt high after 7 years.

aprilfool

Same – we really put him through the wringer. Not saying he didn’t deserve it at times, but I think he was the scapegoat too often. The refs didn’t make it any easier for him. Wouldn’t have minded him sticking around as a wise old head but seems his priority is to keep playing, which is fair and pretty characteristic of him. Best of luck if he does go.

Reality check

He’s was the most misunderstood player through the transition era. Always gave his all, left everything on the pitch for the club and his team mates. May be not a world class footballer, but a world class leader and a pro. This title would’ve been ours with a couple more Xhakas in the starting eleven. So glad that he’s leaving with his head held high.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

“World class leader” my arse.
He’s too hot headed to be a world class leader.
A world class leader wouldn’t have got involved at anfield, which we ended up conceding, from the same free kick.
Xhaka has too many moments like that to be a world class leader

Sakatatties

Do you actually believe the ridiculous narrative that Xhaka pushing Trent a little was the reason we conceded two goals?

Gunner1971

Those who hated him for years will jump on anything. It is what it is.

Indiegooner

I personally believe so. We were running riot and Anfield had gone quiet by that time. After that altercation the crowd woke up and they scored. Soon, Liverpool players were going to the crowd and urging them to up the ante. I feel if not for that incident Liverpool players and fans would have given up and we would have had three points and kept the momentum going. Of course nobody could have predicted this train of events and I will not blame Xhaka for it. In fact I admire him for the restraint and cleverness he has shown this… Read more »

A Different George

And, given the name you use, do you happen to recall the captain in the great years of Henry and Bergkamp? I think it was that incredibly calm, level-headed French guy who sometimes quietly discussed matters, on field and off, with his even more pacific Irish counterpart at our great rivals. Come on–do you not think Patrick was a world-class leader? And, whatever else you think of him, wasn’t Roy Keane also?

mach iii

Great player, I remember when he joined he said he noticed the passing was world class in training. Then he scored 2 thunderbolts. I even cut my hair like him. But I agree about Anfield. A place where we hadn’t won in years. But also a place where we were flying at the top of the league. Most exciting team in Europe. 1nil, 2nil.. Liverpool flabbergasted, and then we went back to the negotiation table. We could have just kept doing what we were doing, but Xhaka had to lower the teams vibration and begin negotiations with the flailing Liverpudlians.… Read more »

Heavenly Chapecoense

The lack of leadership lately was perhaps due to the fact that the natural leader had other plans.

Alberto Balsam Mendez Rodriguez

It’s been a rollercoaster for him with us,
it’s only under Arteta that he’s seemed settled,
hoped he would stay for one season in the champions league,
but if there are family issues at play, you can’t really argue,
he’s stayed through thick and thin,
and redeemed himself some extremely troubled time,
something that rarely happens.

ClockEnder

Believe it or not, he actually has played Champions League football for us, in his first season with us.
Though this is the first time he’s finished in the top four since arriving.

I miss santi cazorla

He did play in the champions league with us in his first season though.

Deano

I get the age but would push for an extra £5million. 1 of a few players to go in order to get a boost in quality.

Man Manny

There goes my favourite active Arsenal player. Granit is a warrior who lives all on the pitch for the shirt. I’ll miss him but the move makes sense for both parties. We can now get an upgrade for that left 8; but the rumoured €15m looks paltry – almost derisory – to me.

Man Manny

*leaves

Vonnie

I think it’s a sign that the club won’t stand in his way, there’s a lot of respect between Granit and the club. European clubs aren’t as flush with cash as the Premier League.

Beef

I think German teams (other than Bayern) still live in the world where 15m is reasonable. If he’s set on a move back to Germany that limits us.

Reality check

Legend/cult hero in my books. Made mistakes (who doesn’t), but never hid, never backed off.

Frog

That’s it. He never hid. I will always respect him for that.

I miss santi cazorla

A year back we would have got close to nothing.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

I’m all for an upgrade on Xhaka. He’s improved but we need better

Ebo

Agree unfortunately. Love the guy and his character, he’s become a true leader, probably the best leader on Arsenal this season other than maybe Odegaard. And his passing range is elite and now he also scores goals. But his one touch play simply isn’t at the level we need in midfield to beat the pressure against the best teams, he’s had good days on that front where you think it almost might work, but also some quite bad ones and we can’t afford those going forward. I would’ve loved to keep him as a backup and a locker room leader… Read more »

Bob

A loss to the team, but it feels like the right time to move on. He’s turned things around and leaves on a high.

The Smith-Rowe rumours bother me though. I can’t believe that we’d let him leave but keep Vieira……

Goonerjag

Couldn’t agree more! Forcing Smith-Rowe out would be repeating the same mistake the club made with Gnabry.

Martin R

It wasn’t a mistake. Arsene Wenger was desperate to keep him but he only had one year left on his contract and he refused to sign a new one. He had no choice but to let him go.

Goonerjag

He refused to sign because he was staying on as a squad player. There was NO attempt to incentivize him. Yes – Wenger wanted him to stay but at that point in history, Wenger’s influence was already dwindling. He is now one of the best players in the world.

A Different George

No. He is German and it was clear he would soon be at Bayern, which is probably what he always dreamt. Not everything depends on what Arsenal do or don’t do.

Big L HoP

We need to kick up a fuss to keep him as I’m going to be fuming if he’s allowed to go. Arteta and ESR have had issues since Arteta called out ESR in front of the squad for fitness issues and ESR didn’t respond well. Which is fair enough as he’s effectively had issues linked to the growth of his body so Arteta calling him out felt personal / out of line. This happened ahead of his last major injury. But yeah if the relationship seems frosty from the outside looking in, that’s why.

Eric Blair

Esr hasn’t looked an Arteta player for a while. If he isn’t in Arteta’s plans then let him go, we’ll get quite a few quid I reckon.

Vonnie

Gutted. Granit is one of my very favourite players and I was really hoping this was just a made up story, but it seems to be true. Granit has been looking much happier this season and I was looking forward to watching him in the Champions League for us. I can see that this move makes sense for him though, he’s been given an opportunity to go back to Germany with a good club and amanager who really wants him and a contract that will secure his future for the next four years. His young children will be coming up… Read more »

Guns&Gooners

Xhaka is gonna leave a massive void in our team. What a player he’s become. Never injured, and a massive leader.

15m pounds for a quality player seems like a steal from Leverkusen. Hope we upgrade massively.

Crash Fistfight

Euros, not pounds

ChickPEA

Gutted to see him leave. Really hope we get Rice instead, as he seems to have similar vibes of no-nonsense, quiet leadership, and is tipped to be England’s next captain.
Also, one of the last Wenger players to leave the club… These past 5 years have seen a tremendous amount of movement at Arsenal.

Public Elneny Number One

The biggest redemption story since Vader chucked the emperor down a hole.

PGunner

Comment of the day, this.

Love how he completely turned it around and never apologised for being himself. Top man! Plus he’s demonstrably not a knob head like Vader, or Guendouzi.

Okester

Vader was not a knob – Anakin was. Vader was just full on baddass motherfucker! Didn’t even give Luke a hard time for getting off with his sister. He let that shit go..Tight.

A Different George

You guys need to get a life.

Merlin’s Panini

It is curious that he would choose to leave now just at the point where he can finally play Champions League with us for the first time since his first season at the club. But, if now is the time to go, it’s a good one. He has vindicated himself over the last two years, particularly this season and he would leave with our thanks. I think he’ll be hugely missed though and we’ll need to find another character with that attitude to run through brick walls. I’d be happy to hear if this story was nonsense. He’s improved his… Read more »

Tucker

Good luck Granit – you can 100% leave with your head held high. In our top 3 players this season for me

RockyRog58

I’d be sad to see him go ! He bleeds effort & is a true leader respected by all at the club (if not the pundits) He’s never ever bottled anything & these last 2 to 3 seasons he’s been superb for us ! I applaud you Mr Xhaka you ARE a Gooner !!!

Crash Fistfight

Another great bit of negotiating by Edu on the transfer fee received 👍🏻

s.p2

Would have been happy to see him remain (albeit as a more sporadic presence). Proved a lot of people wrong – myself certainly included – and leaves the club having completely rehabilitated his reputation professionally and temperamentally… it’s actually a little sad he won’t be a part of our first CL campaign for over half a decade.

Naked Cygan

Never been a fan of Xhaka since Wenger signed him over Kante. This season he won me over and really improved. Weird he will leave when he just had one of his best seasons, but I guess there must be a good reason.Wish him all the best, he gave 100% this season.

Dom47

Would like to see ESR as our new boy in xhaka’s position, him and Ode would make our xavi and iniesta pair for a decade, with a strong DM behind i.e. Rice and Partey if he stays. Would be gutted to really see Emile leave, as some reports say.

Kentish Gooner

Could be a makeweight for Diaby?

Heavenly Chapecoense

Abou has retired, lol.

Merlin’s Panini

The original LANS

John

There was a time I thought we should seriously consider rescuing Kulusevski from his hostage takers. His two-footedness means he could be Xhaka-like on either the left or right. The spuds are twiddling their thumbs and we have CL to dangle suggestively before him. However, for a 23 yo his injury record is a concern; especially when contrasted with the never-injured, never-fatigued, post-apocalyptic cockroach that is our Xhaka.

Bobby7

How are we going to rotate if we sell our best players?

Eric Blair

Buy new, better ones?

Crash Fistfight

So buy 2 players for every 1 we sell?

Hot off the pressure

We are likely moving Elneny on too.

Eric Blair

Xhaka out, Rice and Caicedo in. Sounds alright, doesn’t it?

Qwaliteee

Exactly. I’ve been saying this for ages.

If we were City, Xhaka would be staying, no question, despite signing Rice and Caicedo.

This is where we get it so wrong.

MoeG

Feeling sad. He always wore his heart on his sleeve, ready to fight for the team. Yeah he f’d up a few times but who doesn’t. Always gave 100%

Qwaliteee

If there has been a Mr Arsenal this season, many might say Martin Odegaard and perhaps some might choose Saka.

But for me it is Xhaka.

We are going to miss this guy, if indeed he does go and I feel it would be extremely foolish of the club not to pull out all the stops to get him to agree to one more season.

His influence in the dressing room alone, helping this young side adjust to Champions League football, would be worth more than a measly 15 million.

Come on Arsenal. Do the right thing and keep him.

Qwaliteee

BTW, I only say ‘measly’ in the context of the obscene amounts of money sloshing around like sewage in football now.

With all the poverty, need and want in the world, £15 million never has and never will be measly.

Arseman

Have been critical of him in the past, but this season I’ve had to eat my words – he’s been outstanding in an outstanding team. Heart, leadership, grit, technical quality, box to box running power, assists…. If this form continues they’re getting an absolute bargain. Best of luck to him.

Richard

Most of us wanted to see the back of him for so many years and now that he’s actually reliably good without red cards and penalties given away, we’re selling him (IF we are selling him). I completely understand the financial side, he’s in his thirties and on the back of a good season it’s the most we can get for him. But if we do upgrade he could easily stay a squad option as I think his proven quality is worth more than the 15(ish) million euros that’s on offer. I also wonder what he thinks about this as… Read more »

Richard

Wow, so many downvotes on something that’s completely logical 😀 Some people need to grow brain cells.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

He proved me wrong this season. Huge respect for him and wish him well should he leave us b

Ollie123

Watch any of our games and see how many first balls he wins off long goal kicks (when we take them). He’s hugely underrated in the air. Often either heads it to Partey or Martinelli or get it’s down on the floor.
Will be hugely missed
€15 for a (almost) 31 year old probably isn’t awful business if we have someone lined up.
Caicedo is phenomenal but is clearly not going to be cheap

Mark

Would love to see him get one last straight red for absolutely nothing in the 89th minute of his final game. I will really miss him: there is much to admire int he footballer and the man.

Steinn

I’m just devastated to hear this, I was hoping Xhaka would be an important part of the squad next season even if he wouldn’t be an automatic starter.

Kiwamya

Would have kept him for next season as he deserves to play champions league with us and he’d help his replacements settle- then let him go for free. Win win surely?

Andy

Would be better for him to leave next year and we extend his contract 1 more year for more stability.

Eric Blair

Mucho Respeto, he certainly has balls and does things his way.

If he is indeed off, good luck to him and looks like we’ll get two new shiny midfielders this summer.

Crewiscool

I like to think this came out now so he gets a proper send off during our last home game. I hope the fans sing his name to the rafters. wonderful servant of the team.

AusGunner

While I have no doubt that we’ll recruit in a way that we don’t hugely feel the loss on the pitch, I still think this is would be a big shame. He deserves another Champions League campaign with us and inshallah another contribution to a title fight. I don’t care about a transfer fee because fuck that, burn it all down, nationalise the premier league etc etc. absolutely fuck fifa/FM-inflected market-brain (I understand the club itself has to be more, yknow, pragmatic). But maybe it is a family matter. Good luck to him all the same, absolutely love how he… Read more »

Baz

He turned his Arsenal career around and became one of our most important players. You’ve got to wonder how the early years may have went if he was played in the correct role to start off with.

Shame to see him go now, but now is the right time to at least recoup some money for him. If we replace him with Rice it will be an upgrade in my opinion, but we need reinforcements I midfield on top of Rice now.

Steinn

Agreed, I think we need Rice and another one who can play as an 8 (thinking Mount but probably somebody less expensive).

Hooner

Granit was poor for years – but he got new contract; now he has excellent season – and we sell him??
STRANGE..

I miss santi cazorla

Who would have thought that Elneny would be the last one standing ( Wenger Signings)

Walter White

Some kids may have Ronaldo or Messi as their bloke to look up to, but only very few will have talent close to that.

I think Granit is a much better example for upcoming young players.
He epitomises how far professionalism, leadership, footballing intelligens and character can bring you in the game – and make you perservere in the lowest of moments.
What a man he is. Wish you all the best Granit!

Qwaliteee

My opinion, for what it’s worth, is that the club would be making a MASSIVE mistake letting this guy go. Aside from the patently visible value that he adds not only to the first XI now and would to the squad as a whole (aren’t we actually trying to BUILD here, not deplete?) but there is also the element of unfinished business in the trophy department (I’m referring, of course, about the title and the Champions League) and a fitting end to an incredible story of redemption. Come on Arsenal. Utilise your intelligence and class here and keep him on… Read more »

wrightstuff8

I agree. We need him next season regardless of who we sign. Real shame to loose him now.
Stay one more year Granit!!!!!

Jeremy

Has become one of my favourites, if not my favourite. It makes sense, but it made me sad to read this.

shokim

I’m pretty sad that Xhaka won’t be going through the CL journey with us next season. It’s understandable since Leverkusen are offering him a 4 year contract, but which is so much more attractive. Thanks for your services Granit. One of our standout players this season, besides Odegaard, Martinelli & Saka, amongst others.

Alex

Goodbye Granit

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