Granit Xhaka says he’s proud of the way he’s won over the Arsenal fans in the last three years and says an announcement about his future will be made in the coming week.
The Switzerland international is set to call time on a seven-year stint with the Gunners after Bayer Leverkusen offered the midfielder a four-year deal after agreeing a £13 million fee with Edu.
While the 30-year-old has come close to leaving Emirates Stadium before – Hertha Berlin came very close to signing him in January 2020 following his public falling out with Arsenal fans, and AS Roma wanted him last summer – it seems, this time, he’s ready a new challenge.
“You will know the latest next week, for sure,” Xhaka told the Evening Standard following Saturday’s defeat to Nottingham Forest.
“I think they (the fans) deserve that and I do myself as well. We have one more week of this Premier League season, the first thing is I want to enjoy and, for sure, you guys will know next week what happens with my future.”
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Xhaka handed the captain’s armband for Sunday’s final game of the season against Wolves.
It will be his 296th appearance in all competitions for Arsenal and 225th in the Premier League; only 12 players will have featured more times for the Gunners in the competition.
A “marmite” figure for much of his time at the club, Xhaka has become a terrace favourite in the last 18 months thanks, in part, to his reinvention as an attacking threat.
More than ever, he looks as though he’s been enjoying his football. It’s just a shame he couldn’t leave with a Premier League title to his name.
“Where I have been three years ago and how I came back and my turnaround, it makes me proud, makes me happy as well. But this is my story, this is my path.
“Of course, if next week we know much more about what happen with my future, I will be thankful to the fans because of how they treat me after this, I didn’t expect that if I am honest.
“I am thankful for that and I want to give them something back [for] maybe my last game on Sunday.
“I wanted to do something special this season, maybe with a title, but it’s not the time. Let’s see what the future speaks about it.
“Where I have been three years ago and where I am today, I think I grew up like a person, like a player and I got the respect back, what I think I deserve as well from the fans.
“We have worked 11 months very well, I think. Let’s enjoy the last game at home.”