Three weeks ago, Granit Xhaka was about to move to Hertha Berlin. Now there is more and more reason to stay at Arsenal. Trainer Mikel Arteta seems to have convinced the Swiss.
Shortly before Christmas, newspapers from Germany and Switzerland reported that Granit Xhaka had agreed a transfer with Hertha BSC. The 27-year-old Nati player has already informed Arsenal and his teammates about his intentions to switch. And also many fans of the “Gunners” were probably already looking forward to the upcoming departure of the Swiss, who had messed with them a few weeks before and was later taken off as a captain.
With the arrival of neo trainer Mikel Arteta, who was introduced on December 22 as the successor to Unai Emery, the tide now seems to have turned. The former assistant coach of Pep Guardiola wants to fully rely on Xhaka and has communicated this to the midfielder.
Arteta sees Xhaka as a key player and has always put the playmaker in the starting XI in his first few games as head coach – with the exception of Arsenal’s 1-2 loss to Chelsea when Xhaka was not in the squad (due to negotiations with Hertha?).
«I am ready to get the club to support Xhaka again»
The Arsenal coach has now spoken in detail about a conversation between him and the 82-times international, in which he tried to convince him to stay. «My first message to him was that I wanted to understand how he felt and why he felt that way. I wanted him to listen to my opinion, ”Arteta is quoted by the English newspaper The Telegraph. “I told him I was ready to support him and get the club to support him too.”
Arteta says that Xhaka can be a “really, really good player” and “enjoy playing in this club with me”. He tried to convince him of his whereabouts – and that actually seems to have worked. “He thought about it and then I got a very positive reaction,” says Arteta. “I think he changed his mind.”
The dispute between Xhaka and the fans now seems to have subsided, although certainly not every Arsenal fan is fully convinced of the skills of the Swiss. “Hopefully nobody will remember these problems in a few months,” says Arteta. It is a statement that suggests that Xhaka will actually stay at Arsenal at least until summer. His contract in North London runs until 2023.
Brother Taulant: “He wants to stay in the Premier League”
Granit Xhakas brother Taulant may finally clarify the transfer saga at the German portal “t-online.de” on Friday. «I don’t know whether Hertha BSC was a concrete option for granite at all. I spoke to him on the phone and he told me that the Bundesliga was an attractive league, but he definitely wanted to stay in the Premier League, ”said the FCB professional. And: “He feels very comfortable with the new trainer Mikel Arteta.”