17/08/2021; 6:48 PM By : Steven D. Thompson
Arsenal are pretty banged up at the moment with their players not delivering on the pitch, the manager's job hanging on a thread, and the fans baying for blood. The Gunners need to shore up in some departments, particularly the midfield and attack, but the process has been agonizingly slow.
The team might not have known the value of one of their midfielders in Granit Xhaka and this probably explains why they let his contract run to within two years of its expiration. Arsenal's poor transfer business is why Edu has come under heavy stick in recent times. The team has, however, managed to tie Granit Xhaka to a new contract.
According to journalist Chris Wheatley, Granit Xhaka Arsenal's captain has signed a long term contract extension that will see him remain at the club till 2025. Xhaka was due to become a free agent in the summer of 2023, but this new deal keeps him at the Emirates for an additional two years.
The tough-tackling midfielder was close to the exit after agreeing on personal terms with Roma. He was just a whisker away from signing a deal with the Italian club, but failure to meet Arsenal's asking price truncated the deal.
The penny pinching and inability to see the deal across the finish line can be attributed to the tight financial situation of the club.
Jose Mourinho's arrival at Roma saw him roaming the Premiership, looking for players to shore up his new side. His primary target was Granit Xhaka, who hentified as key to building a stronger midfield.
With Xhaka in the final year of his contract, it was supposed to be a slam dunk, but Arsenal played hardball. The two teams could not agree on the numbers, with a couple of millions separating both parties from an agreement.
Perhaps Mourinho's interest in Xhaka jolted Arsenal to the appropriate value of the player. It's not every time a manager of Mourinho's calibre comes calling. With both parties unable to agree on a fee, Arsenal then offered Xhaka a renewed bumper contract.
Xhaka was entering the final year of his contract, and if that had happened, Arsenal would have been unable to sell him for a decent return.
The details of the new deal have not been released, leading to speculation on what it entails. The contract is, however, thought to include a slight raise for the Swiss. The pay rise might have convinced the player to remain at the Emirates.
Xhaka has come under a lot of stick at the club, and most assumed with the opportunity to play for a manager who values his style of play, he would have opted to leave.
For Arsenal, Xhaka's renewal is a value add as the team is better with him than without him. Arsenal have already lost one of their midfielders this summer with Joe Willock and it perhaps made sense to keep the experienced Swiss.