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Two main reasons why Granit Xhaka is leaving Arsenal 

Xhaka will complete his proposed move back to Germany but why is the midfielder leaving

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Granit Xhaka
Image credit: Getty Images

Granit Xhaka will complete his transfer to Bayer Leverkusen in the coming days for a fee of €25 million.

The former captain is in Germany and will undergo his medicals before signing his contract with the German side.

Arsenal approved the deal after reaching an agreement with West Ham for the signing of Declan Rice for a record £105 million. The Gunners have also added Kai Havertz from Chelsea and Ajax’s Jurrien Timber is expected to join Mikel Arteta’s team.

The Swiss international joined Arsenal from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016 and is set to return to Germany after seven years in the Premier League.

During his tenure at Arsenal, Xhaka has been a key figure for the team, particularly in the recently concluded season. Under the guidance of manager Mikel Arteta, the midfielder experienced a career revival, contributing seven goals and providing as many assists across 45 appearances in various competitions. Impressively, Xhaka has amassed a total of 295 appearances for the North Londoners.

READ MORE: Details of William Saliba’s new Arsenal contract

The decision to let Granit Xhaka go, who has become an influential player and enjoyed his best football with Arsenal, represents the club’s bold step toward a ruthless rebuild this summer. 

So, why has Xhaka decided to leave Arsenal, especially after playing a pivotal role in helping the club secure Champions League football for the next campaign?

A crucial factor in Xhaka’s departure has been his strong relationship with Arteta and sporting director Edu, facilitating the negotiations. Similarly, Bayer Leverkusen’s interest has played a significant role in the process, as they are eager to secure Xhaka’s services long-term and make him an integral part of their plans. Manager Xabi Alonso has assured the Swiss midfielder of his importance at the club for the upcoming season.

According to SportBild, Xhaka’s wife, Leonita, has been influential in the decision-making process. The couple began their relationship during Xhaka’s time at Borussia Monchengladbach, and with Leonita being German, a return to Germany has always been a possibility. The proximity of Leverkusen to Leonita’s family has ultimately swayed Xhaka’s choice.

Granit Xhaka will join Bayer Leverkusen

Granit Xhaka’s wife Leonita is one of the reasons the Swiss captain is moving back to Germany (Image credit: Getty Images)

Furthermore, Xhaka aims to continue playing at a high level and desires to be a key player in his new team. Feeling fitter than ever and displaying his best football in years, the Swiss international believes that Leverkusen provides an optimal environment for his aspirations.

READ MORE: What to expect from Arsenal for the remainder of the summer window

Unlike his attempted departure in 2020, Xhaka leaves Arsenal with his head held high. Close associates affirm that he has matured significantly, both on and off the pitch, compared to the passionate and occasionally temperamental 23-year-old who arrived at the club in 2016. While some of those traits remain, they have become far less prominent.

Within Arsenal’s leadership group, Xhaka held the role of vice-captain this season, and he demonstrated a strong dislike for tardiness while fearlessly calling out teammates who displayed arrogance. Young players, in particular, experienced Xhaka’s no-nonsense approach if he perceived them as becoming complacent.

Sports journalist Alex Crook on GiveMeSport said in May do not want to lose the midfielder on a free.

“Granit Xhaka has pretty much gone now, with a deal to Leverkusen virtually done. And that just came down to the fact that he was happy to let his contract run down, but Arsenal weren’t willing to do that.

“They need the money to improve the squad and obviously midfield is an area. They brought in Jorginho, but that was always a short-term solution to get them over the line in terms of the title, not so much long-term.”

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