Xhaka drops huge hint over Arsenal future amid transfer links

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Despite previously coming close to leaving Arsenal and being linked with a move to Roma, Granit Xhaka has stated that he is “100%” committed to the club.

Since arriving from Borussia Mönchengladbach for £40.5 million in 2016, the Swiss midfielder’s time at the Emirates has been anything but smooth.

Xhaka was a member of Arsenal’s FA Cup-winning teams in 2017 and 2020, but he was also involved in a high-profile feud with Gunners fans after he reacted badly to being booed off during the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace in October 2019.

After being stripped of his captaincy and exiled from the first team as a result of the incident, many expected Xhaka to leave the club in the following transfer window. However, new manager Mikel Arteta persuaded the 29-year-old to stay in North London.

‘When Mikel was appointed in December, I told him I wanted to leave,’ he said exclusively to The Players’ Tribune. He was completely aware of the situation.

‘A few days later, we had another conversation, and when I came in, I had already discussed it with my wife.’ Our luggage was literally stacked against the door. It’s very difficult for me to change my mind once I’ve made a decision like that.

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‘But then Mikel started talking about how important I was to his plans.’ I appreciated his friendliness. He was straightforward and honest. Plans that are well-defined. I had the impression that I could put my trust in him. He told me to give him six months to prove me wrong, and then I could leave if I still wanted to.’

Xhaka is an integral part of Arsenal’s midfield three years after that conversation, and the club is aiming for a top four finish and Champions League qualification for the first time since he signed.

However, rumors linking the player to a move away from the Emirates persist, with Roma attempting to sign the Swiss international once again after failing to do so last summer due to a lack of agreement with the Gunners on a fee.

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Xhaka, on the other hand, has stated unequivocally that Arsenal is still in his heart: ‘Arsenal is still in my heart, 100 percent.’ My goal was never to change people’s minds about me, but rather to assist the team. Then, if someone changes their mind as a result of that, that’s fantastic.

‘I realize we’ll never be best friends, but I hope we can always treat each other with honesty and respect.’ I want you to know that everything I do on the field comes from a good place.

‘I’m fighting for Arsenal, so if I’m late in a tackle, it’s because I’m late.’ It’s because I care that I lose my cool.

‘Perhaps I am overly concerned at times. In football, it’s impossible to predict the future, but I do know a few things. My contract has two years left after this season.

‘I’m still a big fan of this club. Mikel is assembling a fantastic team, in my opinion. And I’d like to accomplish something unique here.’

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