Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka put pen to paper this week on a new long-term contract. In doing so it’s clear that the Swiss international is a part of new Arsenal boss Unai Emery’s plans.
The announcement was made on Arsenal’s website with Emery describing Xhaka as “an important member of the squad.”
The player also put out a statement via his Instagram account expressing his happiness and his pride “to be a Gunner.”
The 25-year-old was signed by Arsene Wenger from Borussia Monchengladbach in May 2016. He has shown glimpses of why Arsenal splashed out £35million on him. However, he has also given fans reason to be concerned. Xhaka became a focal point of fan frustration during Arsenal’s poor 2017-2018 campaign. While some of it was warranted, a lot of it was a bit unfair.
Xhaka played in every league match last season. With the Arsenal defense in disarray and a rotating midfield cast Xhaka was an anchor for the Gunners. He upped his game and his ability to retain ball possession and make smart tackles was evident.
Xhaka has worked hard and is still young. With Emery rebuilding the Arsenal defense and midfield, it’s clear that he will have a big role to play.
It was reported this week that Arsenal were on the verge of signing Uruguayan Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria. While it’s unclear exactly how Emery would set up his squad, the defensive midfielder could be partnered with Xhaka. On the other hand, he could also present the Swiss international with competition for playing time.
Either way the sounds of “there’s only one Granit Xhaka” will continue to echo around the Emirates Stadium next season.