Friday, June 9, 2023

Bayer Leverkusen In Advanced Talks Over £13M Arsenal Midfielder: Can Arteta Afford To Lose Him?

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Ankit Seth
Ankit is a 24-year-old, aspiring to have his voice heard through what he writes. Charismatic and frankly moral, adhering to his principles and beliefs. Out to search for a purpose in life and yet to settle on that matter.

According to a report from Evening Standard, Arsenal and Bayer Leverkusen are in advanced talks over the sale of Granit Xhaka. Having been a part of Arsenal since 2016, the midfielder was set to enter the final year of his contract this summer, which included the provision for an additional 12-month extension. However, he looks set to make an exit from North London this summer for a transfer fee of £13 million.

Xhaka’s Performance for Arsenal in the Current Season

Throughout the season, the 30-year-old has featured prominently in Arteta’s team, appearing in 45 matches and contributing seven goals and seven assists across all competitions. As a crucial presence in midfield, he assumes the responsibility of orchestrating play and setting the rhythm of the game.

The talented player from Basel has demonstrated consistency and dependability in the heart of the midfield, averaging 1.1 shots, 1.3 key passes, 0.9 tackles, and 0.5 dribbles per game in the Premier League. Moreover, his passing accuracy has been exceptional, completing 86.5% of his attempted passes in the English top flight (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)

Should Arteta Sanction His Exit?

Xhaka’s contributions have been vital to Arsenal‘s performances, showcasing his ability to impact the game offensively and defensively. His presence and proficiency in distribution make him a valuable asset in the team’s midfield setup.

Despite facing criticism from certain sections of the Arsenal fanbase in the past, Xhaka has consistently delivered solid performances for the club. Furthermore, he has displayed leadership qualities on the field, exemplified by his captaincy responsibilities on numerous occasions. The Swiss midfielder’s role within the team is pivotal, and identifying a player capable of replicating his qualities will undoubtedly pose a challenge.

Should the deal materialize, Mikel Arteta would find himself in a pressing situation, requiring immediate reinforcements in midfield, given the approaching ages of Jorginho and Thomas Partey. In an effort to rejuvenate their midfield, the Gunners are actively seeking two new signings. While West Ham captain Declan Rice remains their primary target, Arsenal also hold an interest in Brighton’s Moises Caicedo and Chelsea’s Mason Mount.

Consequently, the Gunners will need to ensure the acquisition of two or more players to bolster his squad’s depth, considering the long-term future and the prospect of competing in the Champions League next season.

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