Arsenal could face a battle to convince Granit Xhaka to cement his future to the club after the midfielder suggested strongly he is considering his next move.
The Switzerland midfielder joined the Gunners in a £35m switch from Borussia Monchengladbach in the summer of 2016 but has proved a divisive figure among supporters, who all haven’t taken to his style.
Nonetheless, Xhaka remains a trusted member of Unai Emery’s side with the midfielder at times furnished with the captain’s armband and, at the very least, a regular starter under the Spaniard.
Xhaka signed a new long-term contract in the summer and has kept his place in the side, despite the arrivals of Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guunedouzi, who both play similar roles for the club.
However, just as he appears to be finding his best form and finding a way to curb his sometimes aggressive style, his stay in north London may prove shorter lived than previously expected.
“I’m very ambitious, I want to take the next step, Arsenal does not have to be the last stop,” Xhaka told Tagblatt when asked if he sees himself moving on any time soon.
A big part of keeping Xhaka, however, could hinge on Arsenal’s hopes of returning to the Champions League next season.
With Napoli lying in wait in the Europa League quarter-finals (the winners of the competition will be granted a Champions League spot), and the club currently fourth in the Premier League, Xhaka’s hopes are firmly high.
“Each game we know what we do,” Xhaka said earlier in the season. “We know the opposition well, where they are good and where they are not. He (Emery) is important. He helps us, not only me but all the players, with the small things. The tactical things. You can see that on the pitch. as he explained earlier in the season.”
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