Romano drops bombshell that Xhaka is leaving Arsenal – Who will replace him?

We are seeing the last of Granit Xhaka as a gunner. Multiple reports suggest the Swiss international is set to leave Arsenal this summer We’ve already had our say on why it would be bad for Xhaka to leave, but even so, we now have to see how the club moves on from him.

I bet these 3 players (mentioned below) could come in and play the number 8 role that Xhaka has been playing alongside Martin Odegaard better in Arsenal’s preferred 4-3-3 formation.

Youri Tielemans

A few weeks ago, we asked why Arteta wasn’t looking to sign him this summer. Well, forget that, as Arsenal are still keen on the Leicester man. The Foxes are set to lose him on a free transfer, and Arsenal are among the clubs keen on the deal. Tielemans is versatile; he can play as a defensive or attacking midfielder. At 25, Arteta can bring him on board and have a direct starter in his line-up.

Declan Rice

Arsenal’s top target is not only the defensive midfielder many know him to be. He is also able to play an attacking role.

“I think a lot of people see me as a simple, basic player who gets it, gives it, and protects the back four,” he told Sky Sports back in 2021. “I know, my teammates know, and the manager knows what I’ve got in my locker.

“I want to show that I can be exciting and that I can take the ball forward. I have great athleticism.”

Whenever there’s talk about where he could play, many have always felt Rice would be introduced in the Xhaka role. He could be the replacement Xhaka’s exit needed all along.

Mason Mount

On a good day, Mount is one of the finest playmakers in the PL. There’s talk of a squad overhaul at Stamford Bridge, and Mount, whose contract expires next season, is being eyed by Arsenal. Convince me why an Odegaard-Mount partnership as Arsenal’s number 8 isn’t how to get Arsenal’s attack to another level.

Who else could replace Granit Xhaka effortlessly?

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Tags Fabrizio Romano Xhaka


  1. Not bad choices, especially if you can get two on a free. I don’t think Rice is worth whatever zillions the Hammers will want but I’m prepared to compromise, just seeing how really pisspoor our defence has been recently.

  2. I am please that Xhaka is aparently leaving. This seasonhe has had what I describe as his ONLY good seaon in our shirt.
    Thougb he has many personan qualities of leadership and much experience , at real top level, there are MANY better and younger , more regularly effective players, out there. And I believe we will sign SOME OF THEM .

    NOT Tielemans, who is not in that category, though he is younger. Nor Rice, for lack of Kroenkes willingess to pay his asking fee. Not Mount either, who will IMO stay at Chelsea and regain form under POCH.

    1. Jon
      I agree with you on the replacements. They are not much better than what we have with the exception of overpriced Rice.
      We already have experience in Jorginho and Zinchenko in midfield.
      Therefore I agree with younger mobile midfielders. One is Lavia @ Southampton or even Billy Gilmour @ Brighton.
      Another is a proper holding midfielder who can also be box to box. So Onana or Caiceido.

  3. Yuri Tielemans – no thankyou very much. The poor chap looks constantly knackered to me. His little red cheeks always aglow. Two seasons ago he was decent but has gone seriously backwards in the last 18 months or so. Can’t even hold a place in a poor Leicester team and not sure Belgium will be using him that much in the future.
    Mason Mount also has declined in recent times and whilst one can never know for sure what’s going on in the background at Chelsea, I think we need better than him. At his best – yes, but the way he is at present – No.

  4. I don’t think Arteta and Edu will sign Mount, because his playing style is too similar to Smith-Rowe

    Rice would be a possibility although I can’t see we’d spend more than £80m for him and Tielemans could also be signed

    I think we’ll stick with Smith-Rowe, Vieira, Elneny and Sambi-Lokonga for the AM role, but hopefully we’ll sign Danilo or Marc Roca to help them out

    Trossard and Nelson could also be assigned in that position, if they stay next season

    1. We need to dump Lokanga ASAP. Those other players you mentioned (yes, even Elneny) are better, plus we are adding to that role. Personally, I like Caicedo, but could take Rice as well, or in addition to Caicedo.

      1. I liked Lokonga’s performance when he played left AM. His physical abilities were quite useful in that position

        As for Caicedo, I think he has priced himself out of the transfer market by extending his contract in February, unless there is a release clause on the contract

    2. We can’t seriously be challenging for anything at all and stick with the likes of Sambi, Viera and Elneny.
      It’s a combination that won’t get you even a top four finish next season.

      1. I think Vieira will improve in his second season and Sambi-Lokonga has got some first-team experience at Palace

    3. Gai, I don’t think some of the players you mentioned have Xhaka’s experience. Rice, and Canceido comes with both EPL and National team experience and also have EPL physicality. Nelson, Vera (Very fragile) don’t cut it for me ESR and Danilo is fine by me

      1. Fabrizio Romano just said that Arsenal are waiting for West Ham’s final price tag for Rice

  5. If true, then he has been a loyal servant to the club and Wenger, Emery and Arteta.

    His leadership and experience will be missed, although his frequent gaffes will not!!

    Of the three mentioned, Declan Rice would be my choice and I hope we don’t haggle over the fee, as the likes of city, united, chelsea and liverpool will pay the asking price at the drop of a hat!!

    1. Ken, under his “leadership” what did we win other than the FA cup? 1 trophy in 6 years is not good reading. Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally against any form of personal abuse, I judge players as per their performances on the pitch, Xhaka has had only one productive year thanks to Mikel only. His “leadership” skills could not contain the trio of Ozil, Mustafi and Kolasinac nor boost the morale of PEA or help Laca when he was on an away goal drought. Lets not make a Messi out of every Arsenal player just because they were signed by the greatest manager in the universe.

      1. Glad you appreciate Arsene Wenger at last, guess you’ve realized that coming second and qualifiying for the CL are both successful outcomes at last?
        Of course, one trophy in four years bodes ill for Arteta then, especially as that one win was achieved with the players you mention still at the club?

        Xhaka has never been compared to Messi as far as I know, but you seem to think he was responsible for everyone else’s shortcomings, so you must really rate him very highly and that’s why you are the only one to compare him?

        That’s one thing you have in common with Mikel Arteta then, as he talked him out of leaving as soon as he became the coach / manager… or was that another mistake by MA?

    2. I agree about Rice. If Arteta wants him then just pay the money or somebody else will. I would be very happy with Rice. Have been saying he’d be great at Arsenal for years. With the realistic possibility of trophies with the new-look Gunners I reckon he’d be hungry and have a really good attitude and influence on the team.

  6. The various unconfirmed reports will cushion the effects if and when that time comes.

    Filling his shoes as the ultimate team player and a natural leader won’t be achieved easily.

    Having had the opportunity to jump ship in the stormy waters but remain and chooses only to leave when the ship is steady speaks volumes, of his character.

    When that time comes I personally wants to wish you and your family well

    1. 👍 in terms of sentiment
      I’d agree that Xhaka does have leadership qualities and the way he was targeted by low life ‘supporters’ was vile. However, there are other players currently who have that ability- although Jorginho is short term

      1. @ GS and SueP
        I agree with you about the way he was treated by some AFC fans.
        He is a leader and always gives his best.
        If he is moving on I would like to wish him all the best in his future journey for a man with character who rode out the abuse to come out on top and earned the respect of many of the fans who had changed their opinions on him.

  7. Do Arsenal Fans really know what they want?

    Rice is a little upgrade on Elneny, £80 million? What a joke of a club we are if we pay that for an ordinary defensive midfielder with just a year left on his contract.

    Xzaka replacement is already in the team and he goes by the name Trossard

    Get Caisedo, get a strong Center back, a quick and strong right back and bring Balugun back.

    1. He’s allot better then Elneny
      We got to stop making our players sound better then they are

  8. I think we have enough players who can try to play in the same position but not the same style. They just need a chance, though I do see Leicester’s players coming!!

  9. A big loss…. I for one like Xhaka. Having said that, I am sure Arteta is fully aware of what Granit brings and will look to replace those qualities with a younger version or two. 🙏

  10. Ironically, his last season has been his best by some distance.As to his replacement,Caicedo should be our top priority without doubt, followed by Rice ,but I suspect West Ham will play silly buggers when it comes to price so we may have to look elsewhere.In any event Jorjinho and Zinchenko can provide skill and experience but we need two athletic midfielders if we are to be in contention next season.Players such as Vieira and Lokonga are not as talented as ESR in my opinion and if he can stay fit he could have a big role to play next season.Both Nelson and Trossard are wide players who will never make an impact as attacking midfielders imo.

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