Granit Xhaka chooses next destination after Arsenal

Granit Xhaka has been speaking about his future while recovering from the knee injury he sustained at the beginning of the season.

The Swiss international hopes to make a return to the German Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach after his contract with Arsenal runs out.

Xhaka joined the Gunners in 2016 – the same year that Mikel Arteta retired from football as Arsenal {statorium_player pid=undefined tid=undefined sid=undefined text=”Arsenal”} captain – from Monchengladbach for £35 million at 23 years old after 108 appearances for the German side which he joined from Swiss side, Basel.

He has played 165 games for the Gunners so far, scoring nine goals including some Puskas-worthy strikes, and created 15 goals for his teammates in that period.

Arsenal almost lost Xhaka at the beginning of the season, however, as there was a breakdown in contract talks with the midfielder. He eventually ended up signing a contract to keep him at the club until 2024, delighting many Arsenal fans and annoying quite a few.

Xhaka is currently recovering from an injury that he picked up in Arsenal’s win over Tottenham Hotspur on matchday four of the season and is on the road to a full recovery. He is expected to be back in training by January but will have to contend for his place in the midfield with Thomas Partey and Albert Sambi Lokonga, who have both slotted in seamlessly into the spot he left vacant.

Money not a motivation for leaving Borussia Monchengladbach, says Xhaka

A £35 million for a player was among the top spend back in 2016, but Granit Xhaka has claimed that his move to Arsenal was to fulfil a dream, and not to earn more money.

The 29-year-old laid it all bare while speaking with Mit Geredet Podcast. “I never made the move from Borussia to {statorium_team tid=”9″ sid=”112″ text=”Arsenal “}for the money. It was a dream for me to play in England.

“I have just extended my contract, which still has two and a half years to run. Then I’ll be 32, and if Max Eberl (Monchengladbach’s director of sport) is willing to bring me back when I’m 32, my door will be open.”

Xhaka injury may cause problems for Arteta in January

Granit Xhaka’s return to training is slated for January, but may not b enough to help Mikel Arteta avoid a potential midfield meltdown that could occur after both Thomas Partey and deputy holding midfielder Mohammed Elneny leave the team to represent their nations at the 2021 African Cup of Nations.

Arteta will only be left with Albert Sambi Lokonga and Ainsley Maitland-Niles as Xhaka recovers, and the club may be either forced to rush his return or go into the market for another midfielder. If the latter option is chosen.

It’ll lead to another dilemma when Xhaka fully recovers and Arsenal’s African contingent come back from international duty, and Arteta needs to make squad selections.

How Arteta manages to handle this will be a testament to his skills as a manager and will go a long way in helping him retain the confidence of the Arsenal board, as calls for his sack continue to intensify among Arsenal’s fanbase.