Arsenal are prepared to send Granit Xhaka back to Borussia Monchengladbach in a bid to lure Denis Zakaria to north London.
According to The Mirror, Arsenal have hatched a plan to sign Denis Zakaria from Borussia Monchengladbach. The Gunners are reportedly prepared to send Granit Xhaka back to Borussia Park, which could give them slight leverage in their negotiations in regards to the potential transfer of the Gladbach midfielder.
Xhaka has fallen out of favour at Arsenal after a foul gesture to his own set of fans during the draw with Watford last month. As a result, he was relieved of his role as the club captain while manager Unai Emery has admitted that he’s unsure whether the midfielder would ever play again at the Emirates.
Newcastle United have already expressed an interest to sign Xhaka on loan in January. But, Arsenal’s apparent plan to offer the midfielder in a deal to sign Zakaria might actually work as Gladbach themselves should be well aware of the fact that they will not be able to keep hold of their star man for long.
Therefore, it might be a good idea to agree to re-sign Xhaka back to his old stomping ground in Borussia Park. The Swiss had featured in 140 competitive matches for the Foals before eventually moving to Emirates in 2016.
The 27-year-old’s return could add some valuable depth in the holding midfield slot, with Christoph Kramer being the only reliable number six. But most importantly, his leadership and aggression would bode well for a Gladbach side, who have lacked the presence of a real leader, especially with Lars Stindl missing a chunk of the season due to injury.
As for Arsenal, Xhaka’s departure could be good riddance for the club given how he has struggled to integrate himself to Emery’s tactics. The Swiss international has clearly looked like a misfit in the double-pivot, providing very little support to Matteo Guendouzi while his lack of temperament has led to him making several unnecessary errors.
Zakaria, in contrast, would add a lot to the table for the Arsenal midfield. He is primarily known for his passing and dribbling meaning the Gunners could enjoy a smoother transition from midfield to attack. The ex-Young Boys starlet can also act as a ball-carrier, which could help the club in the event of Mesut Ozil’s potential departure in January.
However, it is fair to point out that Arsenal may need to offload one more player in order to make space for Zakaria. Lucas Torreira, for one, could be a candidate as the Uruguayan has also struggled to adapt under Emery. But either way, securing the services of the Gladbach midfield would be difficult, especially with a host of other European clubs also keeping tabs.