Video – Watch Granit Xhaka show why Arteta wants him to stay at Arsenal

There has been much discussion about the pros and cons of Arsenal offering a new contract to Granit Xhaka to keep him at the club until 2025.

Many people only see Xhaka’s occasional errors (usually involving Bernd Leno) but don’t understand that he is the pivot in the middle that keeps Arsenal ticking along in midfield.

There was much made of a rumoured bid for Xhaka from Roma this summer, and although the Swiss midfielder played along during the Euros, people seem to have forgotten his response when he was first asked about the possibility of joining Mourinho in Italy, he said: ‘There are always rumours at the end of the season, that’s for sure,’

‘But I still have a two-year contract in London and I am very happy with my family here.

‘First of all, I’m looking at a successful Euro 2020 with the national team.’

That is why I was pretty certain that Xhaka would still be at Arsenal this season…

Anyway have a look at Granit’s best bits from last season here…

32 Comments

  1. ThirdManJW says:

    One of our worst signings until his resurgence under MA. MA is being criticized for wanting to keep Xhaka, but to look at it from his perspective, Xhaka has been one of his best performers, one of his leaders, and the fittest, so obviously he wants to keep Xhaka.

    To also be fair to the club, they have been trying to sell him, but his valuation has not been met. Offering him a new contract is debatable, but again, they’re to learn from their mistakes.

    I would have liked to have seen something fresh in midfield this season, instead of Xhaka yet again, but at least it now seems to be quality version of Xhaka. Solid 1.5 years of solid form for us, and just had a great Euros. Hopefully that form will continue.

    1. MUSEMAKWERI Arsene says:

      Hate it or love it his the best ,every player do some mistake especially in Arsenal club his not the only one to blem you have also to take a look on his good performance not judging him on the wrong side only his human and a football player .
      His a hard worker and his strong to keep a winning spirit once his grab the chance to prove his value “take a look to his performance during national team “

    2. Durand says:

      Good players don’t need cherry-picked high-lites to prove they are good.

      Merely watch them during matches and the proof is in the pudding.

      Did Santi need high-lite clips, or was it enough watching him play on match day? Apply that to players you deem “good” and see if they new clips to prove it.

    3. Simon Wong says:

      Totally agreed. with Mikel he have being a great improvement and I believe he will improve even more. Live his spirit and combative leadership. Patience these is a gd player to retained.

  2. Declan says:

    Perhaps for balance there should also be a video of his worst bits?😊. Seriously though, I agree he has been our best midfielder but he really didn’t have a lot of competition. His main problem in my opinion is slowness in transition playing out from the back and his penchant for the odd reckless tackle. He can spot a decent long forward pass though.

  3. SueP says:

    There are nearly as many on JA who think he’s good compared to those who don’t from what I read. I’m firmly on the fence and waiting to see what happens once the window closes. Until then we haven’t a clue as not everything gets reported. The Ings transfer came out of the blue to me

    None of us know how much more can be spent or which players will get sold or loaned. It’s grim that there are still players on the books who are almost worthless and have attracted little attention from other clubs – if any. It’s going to be a long haul.

    1. Thumper says:

      So true.

  4. VasC says:

    Credit where it’s due. None in our current squad can pick a pass like Xhaka does. Or can last a season without needing frequent visits to the treatment table in between. Xhaka can keep himself fit and available for selection. A proper pro.

    Lacking mobility is an issue. But, that is NOT THE BIGGEST ISSUE.

    Had to wait until the 6th minute in that video to see a telling contribution from Xhaka with his right foot. Pass, lob,cross, shoot, intercept, slide and anything he does on the pitch, his left foot comes out first all the time. Almost like his right foot is non-existent.

    If MA can find a system that masks Xhaka’s lack of pace and not put him under regular pressure at dangerous territories from the opponents throughout the entire 90 minutes, Xhaka can be a true game changer.

    Now everyone know why MA wants to keep Xhaka at Arsenal. The question that remains is, “Does MA has a system at Arsenal to make Xhaka a true game changer this season?”.

  5. A J says:

    Agree with much of the above from all.

    What is almost as frustrating as in comings, is our complete inability to offload those now deemed surplus to requirements (what does that tell you ).

    I was on the other day banging on about “identity” & “feel”.

    Until we manage to carry out the forever promised drains up re’ this current squad (for which the ceiling has been reached in any meaningful terms) it feels stale and samey despite White, ASL & Taveres (good, but not enough).

    Was it any coincidence the same shortcomings have been evident in pre-season to date (made by the usual suspects).

    Harsh I know, without a ball being kicked in anger.

    But to date, a whiff of disappointment.

    However, the window remains open.

  6. A J says:

    Had a Saints mate on to me last night re’ Ings, saying we could do worse – then bang – Villa.

    He also tells me JWP could go to …………….. Aston Villa.

    Huge asset in Grealish allows them to make a push for where they want at be.

    Will Spuds waste the Kane money (potentially) as they did Bale ?

    Mind the gap !!!

    1. Sue says:

      Villa are also interested in Cantwell…

      1. A J says:

        Definition of Patience ;

        ” The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious”.

        Getting stretched to the bloody limit (polite version !)

        Late night on the 31st ?

  7. Sidney Ebieteli Godwill says:

    Xhaka won’t see a starting shirt in Mancity, ManU, Chelsea or Liverpool. He’s not good enough for Arsenal

  8. Dan kit says:

    4 years out of the top 4 with Xhaka as our the pivot in the middle as you’ve written ,what does that tell us ?
    I mean it’s been said over and over by pretty much every Arsenal fan you talk to how he is rated .
    It’s strange how how some fans seem to be warming to him because he played a little bit better last season (still finished 8th)compared to the awful 3 years before hand .
    It’s decisions like these that will see Arteta out of a job sonnet rather than later .
    Absolutely shocking that he’s been offered a new contract and on more money 😂
    The Arsenal way “reward for failure !
    Can’t wait to watch Xhaka strutting his stuff lining up along with Elneny because partey is injured again ,magical stuff .

    1. jon fox says:

      Dan kit, IF , as seems most probable now, Xhaka really is to receive a new 4 year contract, then I have had it with Arteta.

      That is too vast and stupid a mistake to excuse. I agree with all you post about Xhaka and cannot understand the foolishness of our last three managers, back to WENGER, WHO HAVE ALL PLAYED HIM AS A REGULAR.

      He is simply too slow, too ponderous and FAR, FAR , FAR, too immobile to ever get us back to the fluid passing style we once had under CAZORLA and ROSICKY.

      We have badly missed speed and quick ball progression, FORWARDS not sideways, for some years now.

      Keeping this lame tortoise and refusing an offer of around £12/13 mill is plain unacceptable.

      I CANNOT ANY MORE ACCEPT THIS AND WILL NOT. I THEREFORE NOW WISH MA GONE. This grave misjudgement is one too many for me.

      He still has Bellerin too and I HAVE THE SAME LOATHING OF HIM AS A PLAYER THAT I HAVE FOR XHAKA.

      1. A J says:

        Jon.

        Your perfectly understandably stance shows how this club of ours pushes one to the limits, and beyond.

        So often you, I and others stood shoulder to shoulder in our Arteta IN position – for reasons of brevity I won’t repeat said views here.

        However, I for one perfectly understand how you have reviewed your stance.

        Each waking day brings another seemingly unfathomable decision !

        Perhaps as in religion – do I need to question my faith in M A ??

        Temptation sits on my shoulder nagging in my ear !

        1. jon fox says:

          Thanks alot for your supportive view AJ.

          I feel a little disloyal in a way but as ever I have to always put the club before any individual , be he Bergkamp, Henry, OR Xhaka, Bellerin and now MA.

          Those I see as holding back our progress and not learning from previous mistakes, I have to want out.

          After the Willian fiasco and the mysterious delay in giving MARTINELLI a proper chance , plus the many shape and selection mistakes last season, I have NOW changed my mind, along with the mounting evidence.

          1. A J says:

            Jon.

            I would say a decision based ON loyalty in fact.

            Loyalty to our CLUB.

          2. Durand says:

            Jon
            I think Arteta’s obsession with Xhaka is because he embodies everything Arteta did as a player.

            Safe, side and backwards passes, possession based football. No creativity or attacking verve, basically manages the game, and risk adverse.

            I see no “Arsenal DNA” under Arteta; the only thing Arsenal are their kits.

            Gone is the fluid movement, quick passing, and the direct attack when having possession.

            We needed a manager to improve the defense, not re-invent the wheel. Watching the preseason Arteta has learned nothing. Same players, same tactics, same negative approach, yet expecting different results.

            Arteta’s answer is always “buy new player,” searching for external solutions rather than internal.

            Odegaard is perfect example; ESR more impactful by far than Odegaard.

            I’d even go so far as keeping Willock rather than a 2nd year of Ceballos was a wiser choice.

            Personally if we are not top 6 in December than Arteta must go. Anything less does not warrant starting on his 3rd year in charge.

            High hopes have turned to disappointment, reinforced by extending Xhaka’s contract.

          3. SueP says:

            Hi Durand
            Unlike Jon I’m not calling for Arteta’s head yet. It’s pointless to me to assume anything at the minute. The window hasn’t shut, Saka has only just returned, White might be a revelation and the players that nobody seems to want to buy get loaned out and are off the wage bill. Xhaka and Leno may build an understanding and Auba will find his scoring boots. I know, pigs might fly, but until we are a few weeks into the season I’m staying positive.

            Arteta has to start making a real difference pretty quickly or he will be toast and like you I think Christmas is crucial. My fear is that should there be a replacement he won’t do any better or be what the fans want to bring Arsenal back to where they should be. I’m supporting Arteta until such time as it’s clear he can’t cut it. I’m trying to chill and adopt a calm aura

          4. jon fox says:

            To Sue P, Enormous respect to you from me for your position and I PRAY YOU ARE RIGHT AND I AM WRONG. I will not be actively calling for MA to be sacked though, as some are doing.
            I merely hope he leaves sooner rather than later. I will still publicly support him(though I realise JA now know my true feelings!!).
            I MUCH AGREE WITH YOU THAT EVEN IF HE LEAVES, THE NEXT MANAGER WILL BE IN A WORSE POSITION STILL, WITHCERTAIN FANS ON HIS BACK AFTER HE LOSES JUST TWICE.

            To be totally honest SueP, I fervently wish I was not addicted to the whole football farce with its scandalous and obscene money having killed it as a sport long ago. It is now just a filthy lucre laden business with so many top level players raping us financially.

            I loathe myself for being so addicted and am weeping with frustration inside.

          5. SueP says:

            Jon
            Once a Gooner
            Always a Gooner

            I’m not happy- any more than you are
            I’m just not looking for trouble before it hits me with a wet salmon

        2. Vinnie2000 says:

          Oh, Temptation!!
          Same here!!
          Taking a Walk now..😒😒
          How dis Club embraces mediocrity is bewildering!!
          Xhaka, Laca, Auba and Pepe have played 2,3,4 seasons with NOTHING to show for dier efforts!!
          See how UCL winners Chelsea, offloaded Giroud n soon, Tammy Abraham!!
          Arsenal fc has become a Big Joke!!
          Only You and Mr JonFox captures dis Terrible situation!!😔😔

      2. gerry burke says:

        JON FOX, i am with you on everything you say in the above post.i just cannot understand artetas stance on xhaka. true, he can pick a pass, but, nine times out of ten it is a sideways or a backwards pass. he is of no use to our team at all.we will finish ,at least as low, as we did, last season,with this slug in our team.i am now ,also, of the view,that, arteta needs to go, if the rumours are true about xhaka extending his contract.we can buy all the great midfielders that are available, but, with xhaka in our team ,then, it will not matter,we need speed,not slowly,slowly.

      3. Loose Cannon says:

        Have to agree with you gentlemen! We ought to have taken that 12M something and progressed.Very hard to imagine watching him for another four more years, waiting for four more years for glory, That will be some 9 long years waiting for that limo to drive away with Xhaka, but I need to draw inspiration from Sally – she waited 24 years for Alice to be gone.

    2. Declan says:

      I think Lokonga will partner Xhaka while Partey is out.

  9. John Legend says:

    In my opinion, Xhaka should stay. I still don’t know why he is named by many as the reason we have been finishing outside the top 4. Last season, Xhaka did better than previous years and we still finished worst than ever, Xhaka is not our problem!!!

  10. JJ says:

    He’s easily one of our better players simply because he’s NOT ALWAYS INJURED! Partey is good but his injury record makes him super unreliable.

  11. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

    It’s simply mindboggling to me that there’s still a percentage of the fanbase that can’t seem to comprehend how Xhaka could both continually start and appear to have improved stats, yet still be logically considered the albatross around our collective necks

    it’s the functional equivalent of someone who can’t wrap their head around the reasons why the KC Chiefs chose to move on from Alex Smith, a competent QB with very respectable numbers, who likewise had led them to the playoffs two years running, and instead opted to go with a relatively unknown prospect, Patrick Mahomes, whom they drafted only a year prior

    fact is, by choosing Smith they were settling for someone who was the “safe” option, who could manage most of the elements required to run the more conservative “west coast” offensive scheme, but had a definitive ceiling, as he was unable to do those things that would allow the other offensive players to maximize their skills…to complicate matters, he was likewise a well-respected leader and known for his propensity to never make crucial mistakes(turnovers), unlike our Swiss miss

    ultimately, instead of opting for the “safe”, or should I say the “scared” option, they went with the necessary and more courageous choice, if they really wanted to compete with the very best in the NFL…as most of you know, the rest is history, as they’ve been to 2 Super Bowls, of which they won 1, since this decisive move, and most consider them tp be best offensive team in the NFL

    of course, expecting to get a Mahomes-type player to replace our sloth-like pivot, might be a bridge too far, but settling will almost assuredly mean that we will struggle to progress beyond our current status and it might likewise lead our best players to seek greener pastures, as his continued presence enables Arteta to continue down the same negative footballing path we witnessed last season

  12. Alex Dellas says:

    Well the problem with him is he tries to do everything in the pitch and ends up screwing up. I mean he marks but he isn’t the best defensive midfielder. He passes but he isn’t the best playmaker. Maybe i think he should defend less and attack more, maybe as a style he should be like Paul Scholes. Direct movements through the box or overlapping through wide areas, taking more long shots or going for the pass, maybe he shouldn’t play as a defensive midfielder, he isn’t very good there, but as a central midfielder with attacking initiative. Anyway i don’t know with Arteta.

    1. VasC says:

      I get what you mean. The farther away Xhaka is from our own 18 yard box, the safer our defence is. May be he can be an impact “super sub” in our offensive third, like Fellaini did, when our forwards can’t find a way to put the ball in the back of the net. Xhaka can come out on top in most aerial duels and has a good shot in his left peg. Any mistake he makes in the final third won’t put our defence at a risk.

  13. John Mock says:

    Thinking about his performance in the sense of how I feel subjectively after watching him, I will say generally I’m much happier the last 2 years. He works hard, he seems less risky on the ball and he doesn’t grind play to a halt anymore. I think the running rate and mobility of Partey is huge for Xhaka’s game as well. Overall I just groan much less. I still get frustrated at his (and many others) inability to quickly move the ball to open areas or react to positive runs or positioning. You saw the Spanish Euro team ping the ball around so skillfully and at such pace and realize how much we could use that. He will never really provide that level of technical skill but he is more and more reliable as a pivot and again, he just annoys me noticeably less than he used to. I’m sure some will say that’s not an analytical way of assessing him but as others have noted, you never needed a highlight reel to know Santi was a masterful player in our midfield and I consistently feel satisfied with Xhaka now. The extension I believe is to have him be the starter for short term and in 2 years we buy an upgrade and move him to a bench space. Not a bad strategy for a team with limited funds- tie down a reliable leader for 4 years so we can focus short term on some higher urgency signings.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs