Arteta gives green light to new Arsenal deal for influential star who has blown away club officials

Fabio Vieira, Granit Xhaka, William Saliba, September 2022

An Arsenal player who has completed a career renaissance is now in line to receive a new contract at the club, TEAMtalk has been told.

Arsenal have been enjoying a positive season and are currently top of the Premier League after 23 matches. Simultaneously, they have been convincing some of their key players to commit their futures to the club for the long term.

In recent months, there have been contract extensions for the likes of Gabriel Magalhaes, Gabriel Martinelli and the experienced Mohamed Elneny. In addition, there has been significant progress on tying down Bukayo Saka to a new deal, while work continues on convincing William Saliba to pledge his future to the club.

Many of those deals will ensure Arsenal can continue to develop their exciting young core. But equally as important this season has been some maturity in their midfield.

Indeed, Granit Xhaka has started all 23 of their Premier League matches so far. In the process, he has contributed five assists and three goals.

Now one of Arsenal’s longest serving players, Xhaka has come a long way. In the past, he famously lost the club captaincy, leading to exit links in 2020 and 2021.

But manager Mikel Arteta has successfully got Xhaka’s career back on track. As such, TEAMtalk has learned that – despite Arteta saying at his Friday press conference that no talks were underway yet – the Switzerland international is in line to earn a contract extension.

Our insider, Graeme Bailey, told us: “The decision from Mikel Arteta to green-light a new deal is a clear sign of the progress of Granit Xhaka in the last year.

“The entire reason for him getting to this point, less than 18 months left on his current deal, was that some at Arsenal were just not sure about whether he had it in him to earn a new deal.

“However, the progress and maturity he has shown in the last 12 months has blown many people away at the club.

“To become one of the most influential players in an Arsenal side that is now firmly in title contention is a huge achievement.”

Xhaka to snub interest from three countries

After reaching the age of 30, Xhaka has maintained his good form under Arteta. As such, other clubs have been keeping an eye on him as a potential target still.

But they seem set to be disappointed due to the Basel academy graduate’s stance on his Arsenal future.

Bailey added: “There is a lot of interest in Xhaka, from Italy mainly but also Spain and back in Germany – where he spent most of his career before joining Arsenal – but I understand the player sees his future in North London.

“A new deal will clearly depend on finances, as they all do, but as long as Xhaka’s demands are not seen as silly – and initial indications are that they are not – it would be seen as something of a huge shock if he did not sign his extension.

“Arsenal’s players are very much on board with the progress they are making under Arteta and that convinced the likes of Martinelli, Gabriel and now Xhaka to put pen to paper… possibly soon followed by Saliba and Saka. Arteta is certainly getting results on and off the field.”

Across his Arsenal career to date – which began in 2016 after a transfer from Borussia Monchengladbach – Xhaka has amassed 281 appearances. From those games, he has provided 18 goals and 27 assists.

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