After seven years at London Colney, Granit Xhaka has set his sail from Arsenal to Bayer Leverkusen. The deal is worth £25 million.
In his interview with Keystone-SDA, where he debunked the rumour of an unhappy wife in London, Granit tied the move to seeking new challenges. “The fact is that as a person I am always interested in new challenges”, he had said. He continued saying, ” After seven years, the time has come for something completely new. The league is not new, but the club is. During the talks with Simon Rolfes [sporting director] and Xabi Alonso, I felt that the long-term project at Leverkusen was worthwhile and that it was 100% in line with me.”
He was a core member of the Mikel Arteta Arsenal squad that came second on the league table only falling short of winning the league in the final games of the season. Xhaka also spoke highly of Mikel Arteta under whom he played an advanced midfield role, describing the Spaniard as “A coach I respect immensely”.
“He’s a coach who understands an incredible amount of football. Someone who sees football with completely different eyes,” Xhaka added. “I had a great relationship with him. Thanks in part to him, we achieved what was missing for years: the Champions League”. This comes after a six-year absence from the prestigious European competition.