Granit Xhaka drops huge hint over Arsenal future amid Roma transfer links
Posted by  badge Boss on Apr 13
Granit Xhaka has played for Arsenal since 2016 (Photo: Getty)

Granit Xhaka has said that he is ‘100%’ committed to despite coming close to leaving the club previously and being continually linked with a move to Roma.

The Swiss midfielder’s time at the Emirates has, to say the least, been a bit of a rollercoaster since arriving from Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2016 for £40.5million.

Although part of the side that won the in 2017 and 2020, Xhaka was also involved in a high-profile falling out with Gunners fans after he reacted badly to being booed off during Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with in October 2019.

The incident led to him being stripped of the club’s captaincy and exiled from the first team, but while many assumed that Xhaka would leave the club in the following transfer window, the 29-year-old was instead convinced to stay in North London by new manager Mikel Arteta.

Speaking exclusively to , he said: ‘When Mikel was appointed in December, I told him that I wanted to leave. He understood completely.

‘We had a second chat a few days later, and when I went in, I had talked it through with my wife. Our suitcases were literally placed by the door. When I have made a decision like that, it is very difficult to change my mind.

Xhaka was stripped of the Arsenal captaincy in 2019 after reacting badly to getting booed off my his own fans (Photo: Visionhaus)

‘But then Mikel began to talk about how I was a big part of his plans. I liked his warmth. He was honest, straight. Clear plans. I felt I could trust him. He told me to give him six months to prove me wrong, and then if I still wanted to leave, no problem.’

Over three years on from that conversation, Xhaka is an integral part of Arsenal’s midfield and is aiming to secure a top four finish and Champions League qualification for the club for the first time since he signed.

However, rumours linking the player away from the Emirates persist, with Italian side Roma once again trying to sign the Swiss International, having failed to do so last summer when they were unable to agree a fee with the Gunners.

But Xhaka has no intention of leaving, directly telling fans: ‘Arsenal is still in my heart, 100%. My challenge was never to change people’s opinions about me, but to help the team. And then after that, if someone did change their mind because of that, then great.

‘I understand that we will never be best friends, but I hope we can treat each other with honesty and respect. I want you to know that whatever I do on the pitch, it comes from the right place.

‘If I am late in a tackle, it’s because I’m fighting for Arsenal. If I lose my temper, it’s because I care.

‘Sometimes, maybe I care too much. Obviously, you can never predict the future in football, but I do know a few things. After this season, I have two years left of my contract.

‘I still love this club. I believe Mikel is building a great team. And I want to achieve something special here.’


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