Reporter Ryan Taylor of the Daily Express told GIVEMESPORT that rumours connecting Arsenal with West Ham United’s Declan Rice indicate that Arsenal star Granit Xhaka may be playing his last full season as a starter for the club. Despite Xhaka’s “revelation” status for Mikel Arteta’s team this season, Taylor thinks he will have restricted playing time in the starting eleven next year.
Xhaka is having one of the greatest seasons of his professional career. He has become an integral component of Arsenal’s Premier League pursuit. The midfielder has started every game in the Premier League for Arsenal this season. He has also played a significant number of minutes in the cup tournaments, for a total of 37 games (Transfermarkt).
Along with his improved playing time, Xhaka has also upped his creative production, with the Swiss international netting five goals and dishing out five assists for Arsenal in 2022/23. In a recent interview, Xhaka discussed his new position in the middle of the field. He said that he probably would have left Arsenal if not for Arteta’s confidence in him.
Telling beIN SPORTS: “without him [Arteta] I would not be at the club anymore,” it’s clear just how much of an impact Arteta has had on Xhaka’s revival at Arsenal.
Arsenal Transfer News: Will Granit Xhaka leave Arsenal?
While the north Londoners are still dancing their way to a first Premier League victory in almost two decades, talk has already turned to whom the Gunners may buy this summer. The Athletic reports that Arsenal has made signing Rice their top transfer target. The West Ham midfielder is reportedly being enticed by the club’s promise of Champions League participation.
There have been rumours that say the Gunners may spend up to £80 million for Rice, making this a huge transfer deal if they are successful. When speaking with GIVEMESPORT, Daily Express journalist Taylor voiced worry over Granit Xhaka’s place in the Arsenal starting eleven if the club were to sign key target Declan Rice this summer.
On the situation, Taylor said: “I think the length of that would obviously be up for debate because if we’re being reasonable, I feel Granit Xhaka won’t be around forever as part of this Arsenal revolution.
“That’s not to say what he hasn’t done so far has not been exceptional. But when you consider Arsenal are talking about bringing in Declan Rice and maybe Moises Caicedo, you would maybe say Xhaka would be the one that could potentially drop out of the side.”
What’s next for the Gunners?
Xhaka is now 30 years old, so he probably won’t be staying at the Emirates for long even if the Gunners sign a new player this summer. According to reports, Xhaka earns £120,000 per week at Arsenal, and his contract at the Emirates Stadium is likely to stretch until the conclusion of the 2023-24 campaign.
This means that the ex-Borussia Mönchengladbach player is approaching the last year of his contract and will be a free agent in the summer of 2024. Although it would make sense for the Gunners to add a new central midfielder, it would be unfair to Xhaka to entirely leave the starting lineup after the season he’s had.
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