Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has confirmed that Granit Xhaka will be staying put at the club amidst constant speculations over his future.
Speaking after their 2-1 preseason friendly defeat to Chelsea, as quoted by Sky Sports, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has confirmed that former captain Granit Xhaka will not be leaving the club in the ongoing transfer window.
Xhaka has been with Arsenal since the summer of 2016 when he arrived from Borussia Monchengladbach. A mainstay in the side for the majority of his stint, the Switzerland international has racked up 220 appearances, in which he has netted 13 goals and set up 20 more, winning two FA Cups in the process.
Always a divisive figure among the fans, Xhaka had come close to leaving last January but was convinced to stay by Arteta. While he was an important member of the team over the past year or so, the 28-year-old seemed to have his heart set on an exit this summer, with AS Roma keen on his signing.
Indeed, the Giallorossi, now managed by Jose Mourinho, made multiple attempts to land Xhaka. However, they were unable to meet Arsenal’s valuation of their former captain, leading to a breakdown in talks, and now, it looks like the 28-year-old, who was brilliant for Switzerland at the UEFA Euro 2020, looks set to stay put at the Emirates.
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— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 1, 2021
Indeed, Arteta has now confirmed that Xhaka will not be leaving and would remain a key part of the team. This came after the midfielder had scored for Arsenal in their friendly defeat to Chelsea. “Xhaka is staying. He wanted to play. He is a key player for us,” the Gunners boss said in his post-match interview.
The U-turn on Xhaka’s future comes at a good time for Arsenal as fellow midfielder Thomas Partey picked up an injury in the game against Chelsea, with Arteta admitting that it was not looking good for the Ghanaian ahead of the new season. “I just had a talk with the doctor. He’ll have a scan tomorrow. At the moment it’s not looking good,” the manager stated.
It now remains to be seen whether Xhaka staying changes Arsenal’s summer transfer plans. The north Londoners had been ardently pursuing another central midfielder despite signing Albert Sambi Lokonga.