Granit Xhaka has claimed he would not be at Arsenal any longer if Mikel Arteta had not been appointed head coach.
The Swiss international was linked with a move away from the club ahead of the January transfer window, with the club struggling to find any kind of form under Unai Emery or Freddie Ljungberg earlier in the campaign.
The team has since made major improvements, and Xhaka has returned to playing a key role in the side, and he admits that had the Spaniard not taken over the reigns, he would have quit the club.
“One thing is certain: I wouldn’t be in London without him,” he said. “He was the decisive factor, with his philosophy, with his style, with his idea. I am really grateful to him for that.
“I am indulging Mikel Arteta with [the FA Cup] victory. It gives him confidence and a certain security.
“We players saved a strange season with the last possible qualification for international business. I don’t want to imagine how the reactions would have been if we had missed the Europa League.”
The 28 year-old is also in awe of the signings which the club has made thus far, claiming the club’s business this summer show a clear intention that they want to fight to get back into the Champions League.
“With Willian and Gabriel, Arsenal brought a lot of quality and mentality into the dressing room,” Xhaka told the Swiss Telegraphic Agency (via Football.London). “Willian knows how to win titles.
“And the extension with Aubameyang was an important signal for all of us – we want to go back to the Champions League.”
Xhaka’s comments come weeks after defender Gabriel Magalhaes revealed that he made the decision to join the club after speaking to the manager about his philosophy, and that the Spaniard played a key role in convincing him to move to North London, when speaking to Arsenal Media for the first time after completing his move.
Everything we hear and see from Arteta’s arrival as coach has been amazing so far, but how far can he take us? Will the club backup the manager with the midfield signing he craves?