Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Arsenal Midfielder Faces Dilemma Upon Leverkusen Interest: Can Arteta Afford To Lose Him?

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Ankit Seth
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According to Mirror, Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka is reportedly facing a dilemma as Bayer Leverkusen reignites their interest in him this summer. The Bundesliga giants were keen on signing the Swiss international last summer, and their interest has not gone away.

Xhaka’s Campaign With Arsenal So Far This Season

The 30-year-old has been a regular in Arteta’s side, making 45 appearances while scoring seven goals and seven assists in all competitions this season. He has been a key player in midfield, often tasked with dictating play and controlling the game’s tempo.

The Basel-born talent has been consistent and reliable in the middle of the park after averaging 1.1 shots, 1.3 key passes, 0.9 tackles and 0.5 dribbles per game in the English top flight. He has also been excellent with his ball distribution after making 86.5% of his attempted passes in the Premier League. (stats via whoscored).

Granit Xhaka of Arsenal
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – MAY 07: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal is challenged by Joe Willock of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal FC at St. James Park on May 07, 2023, in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Xhaka, who has been with the Gunners since 2016, has a year left on his contract with a further 12-month option at the Emirates Stadium.

Can Arsenal Afford To Lose Him?

Despite receiving criticism from some sections of the Arsenal fanbase in the past, Xhaka has been a consistent performer for the club. He has also been a leader on the pitch, wearing the captain’s armband on several occasions.

One of the factors that could influence Xhaka’s decision is the direction that Arsenal is heading in under Arteta. The Spaniard is still in the early stages of his managerial career, and Xhaka may want to be a part of the project that Arteta is building at the Emirates. The Arsenal boss has shown faith in Xhaka, and the midfielder has repaid that faith with impressive performances.

However, if Xhaka does decide to leave the North London club, the Gunners will need to find a suitable replacement. The Swiss midfielder’s role in the team is crucial, and finding a player who can replicate his qualities will not be easy. The situation is complicated further by the fact that former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso, a close friend of Mikel Arteta, is now in charge at Leverkusen. Xhaka’s departure would leave a void in Arsenal’s midfield, and it remains to be seen if the Gunners can afford to lose him.

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