Granit Xhaka looks set to leave Arsenal for Bayer Leverkusen after a total of 7 years and 10 months spent at the club. Xhaka initially joined from Borussia Mönchengladbach for a fee of around £30–35 million and has since amassed 224 appearances for the London club.
His last season at the club far by far his most productive at the club, contributing to a total of 7 goals and 7 assists in the Premier League this season.
Granit will always be remembered fondly among the Arsenal fanbase, despite having his fair share of ups and downs with the club. He previously stated he won’t leave the club until they achieve something “special” and a Premier League title would have been the perfect sendoff but a Champions League qualification will have to do in the end. Arsenal haven’t participated in the competition since the 16/17 season and Xhaka was a key piece in helping Arsenal climb back into it this year. And in some fashion.
Arsenal managed to score 88 goals this Premier League season, ranking them as the #1 scorers in any Arsenal Premier League history. Despite finishing 2md and only 5 points off City, this season turned out to be special and only a final push remained to get the title over the line. Xhaka leaves behind an incredibly healthy team full of young stars and most importantly a team who plays for each other. That sense of unity is something Xhaka massively contributed to, with people often describing him as a leader on and off the pitch in many aspects.
Arteta managed to find a position for Xhaka which suits both Arsenal and himself extremely well. He’s always been a versatile player who’ll look to find himself in any position you put him in. But a box-to-box player who strays further away from 1st phase buildup, instead diverting his energy into late runs into the box, timely weighed passes and managing the tactical tasks of the role in itself seems to be where he’s managed to find himself again.
14 G/A in the Premier League is no easy feat but it’s not only his output that deserves praise. You can find him playing in a variety of positions in-game and his positional versatility will surely be missed. Depending on the game state, you can find him absolutely anywhere on that left side. He kept his levels of performance high throughout the season and it’s unfortunate him and Arsenal will go separate ways just as thing seem to finally click.
Arteta knows there’s a whole another attacking dimension to be unlocked on that left-hand side despite Xhaka having a stellar season. He makes use of absolutely everything he’s got but put a player like Gundogan in there and you’ll feel a massive difference in attack. That’s the type of player I feel like Arteta will look to find as his replacement.
Xhaka has always been a hard worker but the time to go is now. He helped Arsenal back into the Champions League but he’s done well to leave on a high as this team can upgrade on him. He’s giving us space to do that on his own terms and I’ll always respect him for this, among other things.
A man of his word, hard as nails and someone who never backed down from a challenge. A truly unique individual who I’ll always remember as a player and a person.
This Granit Xhaka’s Arsenal story needs to be aired in Netflix with the title ‘The best Remontanda in Premier league history.’pic.twitter.com/AT6a6bk0R8
— Sakazett (@AFCabuu) May 28, 2023