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Granit Xhaka signs new Arsenal contract

We knew it was coming. It’s official now.

Brentford v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images

Granit Xhaka has signed his long-term contract extension that will keep him at Arsenal through 2025, per Chris Wheatley. The deal keeps him in North London for two additional years; he was slated to become a free agent at the end of next season (June 2023).

UPDATE: Chris Wheatley reports that deal extends Xhaka’s contract through 2024, with an option to extend for an additional year to 2025.

The Swiss midfielder seemed as good as sold to Roma this summer. He had reportedly agreed to personal terms with the Serie A club before the Italian club failed to meet Arsenal’s asking price and the deal fell through. Roma’s recent Tammy Abraham buy notwithstanding, they’re like most clubs in Europe this summer — struggling to find two pennies to rub together.

Although the specifics of the deal beyond the new end date haven’t been released, the contract is thought to include a slight pay bump for Xhaka. That pay raise can be one of three things (in my opinion): the natural pay raise you give a guy still of prime age to entice him to sign a contract, a bump to bring his wages closer to what he would have made at Roma, or a “thank you” for signing a deal to “protect his value” for a future transfer.

That last part is the most interesting one. With Xhaka entering the last year of his contract next summer, it was going to be difficult to sell him for any kind of decent return. My guess is that he’d still like to leave the club next summer and that Arsenal are open to selling. I think the contract extension is Arsenal essentially betting that they’ll be able to sell Xhaka for a better number in 10 months. Signing the new deal is Xhaka doing the club a solid, and they’ve responded by paying him a little bit more. But that’s all my guesswork.

Arsenal are better this season with Granit Xhaka than without him. They might even be better next season with him than without. Beyond that, it starts to get a little dicey, which is why I think he moves next summer. And even though the extension means Arsenal aren’t likely to sign another central midfielder this window, how likely were they to do that, anyway? Arsenal were in a tough spot, and I think this deal makes the best of a not great situation.