There were many Arsenal fans and pundits that thought there was no way back for Granit Xhaka after his outburst at fans a while back, but he has gradually been integrated back into the side. According to his agent though, he has been secretly engineering a move to Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga, with just the two clubs needing to agree a fee for the transfer to happen.
But the arrival of Mikel Arteta may have changed things, as the Spaniard is actively trying to persuade the Swiss international to stay at Arsenal. That doesn’t seem to be going so well though as Arteta admitted today that he is trying to get Xhaka’s team-mates to help convince him that he still has a future at the Emirates.
The Boss told Arsenal.com today when asked about Xhaka: “I had a conversation with him and I wanted to understand his feelings. That’s first, and his reasoning why he was thinking it probably wasn’t the right place for him to continue his career.
“I gave him my opinion, my perspective, and I told him that I was ready to support him from the club perspective, and I wanted his team-mates to have his back to help him to change his mind. We need him. I believe that if we’re able to do that, the fans will respond in a positive way.
“I’ve seen him act every day, how he trains and how he lives his profession, as well as the quality of the player. I think he could be a really important player for the club.
“From my perspective, I don’t want him to leave.”
Arteta was then asked if he had persuaded Xhaka to change his mind, and he replied: “I hope. I don’t want him to. I said no to the club and I said no to him! After, in life, I cannot control what happens.”
So it is obviously not certain that Xhaka will stay after all, and I wonder if the fans would be happy to welcome him back into the fold. It seems the home crowd gave him a happy reception before last night’s game against Man United, but will it be enough to persuade him to stay?