Granit Xhaka has 2 years left on his current deal with Arsenal. The Swiss midfield played in 31 games at various positions like left back and centre defensive midfielder. Scoring 1 and assisting 2 goals in the league last season. Xhaka is considered to be a deep playing creator with a long ball accuracy of 72%. With a pass completion rate of 90%, this puts him in the top 92 percentile in the league. Xhaka attempted last season 7.17 progressive passes per 90 which put him in the top 95 percentile midfielders in the league.
At the start of the Transfer Market, it was reported that Roma was willing to sign the Swiss. Roma has offered €12m + €3m add-ons which were turned down by Arsenal. Xhaka is currently valued at £19.80m by Transfermarkt. Jose Mourinho, the currently Roma Manager was keen on signing Granit Xhaka. He wanted a midfielder who can progress with his ball at his feet as well as have leadership skills.
Why are Arsenal Willing to Renew Granit Xhaka’s Contract?
The first reason could be due to having a stable market value for the Swiss international. With the contract extension till 2025, Arsenal can sell Granit Xhaka for a higher value. The club had paid to Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2016 £40.50m to buy Granit Xhaka. Which while looking back could have been spent in other places. Due to the recent success of the Swiss International Team in the Euros, the world could see Xhaka’s leadership skills. His best performance being against France where Switzerland won.
Arsenal currently plays in Arteta’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation with a 2 defensive midfielder Pivot. Currently, the club has 5 defensive midfielders. Lucas Torrerira is stated to be loaned by the club due to his personal issues. Mohamed Elneny is considered by many as a squad rotation player who can just do the minimal work required by a player. Arsenal new signing Sambi Lokonga has been showing signs of hope during the pre-season games. But he isn’t ready to be a first-team player.
Due to this, last season pairing of Xhaka and Partey will start the new season in the defensive pivot. It shall be interesting to note that after the signing of Ben White being confirmed by Arsenal if Xhaka will be allowed to play in his preferred style of a deep playing creative midfielder. With a defensive backline of Gabriel/ holding with Ben white, Arsenal can try to play with a more creative approach than last season.
If the contract renewal is done for the utter reason for keep his market value high in the upcoming season, it does make more sense else this would be a low in this seasons Transfer Market.