Granit Xhaka reveals just how close he was to leaving Arsenal in comprehensive interview

Granit Xhaka reveals how close he is to leaving Arsenal in an extensive interview

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka revealed he was a far cry from leaving the north London club in the January transfer window, claiming ‘my bags were packed’, only to persuade Mikel Arteta to stay.

The former Arsenal captain has always been divided at the Emirates Stadium, and things got even worse in November 2019, when his fans booed Crystal Palace. His response, by telling them in no uncertain terms where to go and tossing the captain’s insignia to the ground, seemed to be the point of no return.

And to Xhaka, it was.

“I’m done with Arsenal,” the midfielder said. Players Tribune. ‘Been completed. There was a contract on the table from another team, and all I had to do was sign. I spoke with my wife, Leonita, and we decided to leave.’

“I was going to say goodbye to Mikel, and then we’d get on the plane.”

The incident was in the final days of the reign of Unai Emery, who was sacked after just 6 matches after losing 2-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League group stage. He left Arsenal after only 3 wins in his last 11 Premier League games, and after a temporary stint, Mikel Arteta was appointed.

And it was the current Arsenal coach who convinced him to change his mind.

“When Mikel was appointed in December, I told him I wanted to leave,” Chaka continued. I have fully understood. We had a second conversation a few days later, and when I walked in, I spoke to my wife. Our bags were literally placed near the door.

When I make a decision like that, it is very difficult to change my mind. But then Mikel started talking about how I was a big part of his plans. I loved his warmth. He was honest and upfront. Clear plans. I felt I could trust him. He told me to give him six months to prove me wrong, and then if I still wanted to leave, no problem.

Granit Xhaka reveals how close he is to leaving Arsenal in an extensive interview

Arsenal’s Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka (centre) was spoken to by Arsenal’s Spanish coach Mikel Arteta (right) after leaving the match injured during the north London derby, which Arsenal won 3-1. (Photo by Ian Kington/IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images).

My head left ArsenalAnd But my heart didn’t, the 29-year-old admitted.

It is this love that saw him commit to his future with the club last summer, despite Roma’s interest in him, and assures that he will see his contract in the Emirates if he is allowed to do so, renewing his faith in Mikel Arteta and his own desire. To succeed in front of the masses that he forgave but did not forget.

“After this season, I have two years left on my contract. I think Mikel is building a great team, and I want to do something special here.”

Whether that will happen or not is another matter.

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Premier League table

# a team deputy Dr s
1 Manchester 31 52 74
2 Liverpool FC 31 57 73
3 Chelsea Football Club 30 41 62
4 Tottenham Hotspur 31 19 57
5 Arsenal 30 9 54
6 West Ham United team 32 9 51
7 Manchester United 31 7 51
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 32 5 49
9 Leicester City 29 -3 40
10 Crystal Palace 31 3 37
11 Brighton and Hove Albion 31 -9 37
12 Aston Villa 31 -4 36
13 Brentford 32 -9 36
14 Southampton 31 -15th 36
15th Newcastle United 31 -20 34
16 Leeds United 32 -30 33
17 Everton 30 -19 28
18 Burnley 30 -19 24
19 Watford 31 -31 22
20 Norwich City 31 -43 21
player a team Objectives
Salah Mohammed Liverpool FC 20
son, hyung min Tottenham Hotspur 17
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 15th
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 13
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur 12
Tony, Evan Brentford 12
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 12
De Bruyne, Kevin Manchester 11
Zaha, Wilfred Crystal Palace 11
Mason mountain Chelsea Football Club 10
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester 10
Sterling, Raheem Manchester 10
Ravenha Leeds United 10
Vardy, Jimmy Leicester City 10
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United team 9
Fernandez, Bruno Manchester United 9
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford 9
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal 9
Bucky, Timo Norwich City 9
Smith Roe, Emil Arsenal 9