Xhaka confirms Mikel Arteta changed his thought of leaving Arsenal

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has confirmed that he was in discussions with Hertha Berlin in December but he opted to remain with the Gunners after being convinced by the plans of Mikel Arteta. Xhaka was involved in an ugly spat with the fans during a Premier League clash in October and he was stripped from the captaincy thereafter.

The Switzerland international made a comeback before the dismissal of manager Unai Emery in late November but it was quite clear that he wanted to leave the club for Hertha during the winter transfer window. However, that did not happen and Xhaka has now revealed that he was convinced to stay put by the appreciation shown by new boss Arteta.

He told Die Rheinpfalz: “Yes, there were talks with Hertha, that’s well known, but for me, it was settled. After the change of coach I had some very good talks with our new coach Mikel Arteta. He convinced me of his ideas and his philosophy for the number six position and showed me a lot of appreciation. I’m glad that I could pay him back for this trust and I hope for the future that we can still make it into the Champions League and finally play in the international top league again. I came to England to win titles – and that is still my goal.”

Xhaka has been a regular in the centre of the park under Arteta and his performances have improved. The Swiss has shown better command of his position and has been willing to put on challenges which he was reluctant to do under former boss Emery. As a result, he has become an undisputed starter from an unwanted figure and he will aiming to continue the good form when the season resumes after the coronavirus shutdown. The Gunners are currently five points behind a potential Champions League spot with a game in hand.