Mikel Arteta’s latest statement on Granit Xhaka has thrown new light on the midfielder’s future at Arsenal
A short while ago, Xhaka’s departure from Arsenal seemed to be a near-certainty, with his swearing at the Gunners fans casting a shadow over his future at the club.
An unpleasant confrontation with the fans during Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace in October saw former boss Unai Emery stripping the Switzerland international off the club’s captaincy.
Emery then confirmed the player’s desire to find a new challenge and also seemed to have encouraged the left-footed midfielder to leave north London.
However, since Arteta took over the reins at the Emirates, Xhaka has returned to be a protagonist, featuring in two of three top-flight matches under the Spanish manager.
Granit Xhaka’s game by numbers vs. Man Utd:— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) January 1, 2020
100% final third pass accuracy
93% pass accuracy
8 ball recoveries
5/5 long balls
3 fouls suffered
3 tackles won
One of his best performances in an Arsenal shirt. 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/3F85zkKf80
Now that he enjoys his football again, the 27-year-old deep-lying playmaker has returned in contention for Arsenal’s captaincy, at least according to Arteta’s latest statement.
“I don’t know – time will tell that. Now he’s happy to stay here. He’s completely committed, and that’s a big plus today,” the ex-Manchester City assistant manager said, as reported by the Daily Mirror.
After opening the door for his star midfielder to compete for the captain’s armband again, Arteta has practically thrown away the possibility of selling him in the winter transfer window.
Before Arteta’s arrival, Xhaka has been heavily linked with a move to the fallen Serie A giants AC Milan, but as things stand now, the Rossoneri will have to explore other options.