Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka departing the Emirates may not be a big loss for Mikel Arteta’s side, according to journalist Paul Brown.
While Brown has suggested that the 30-year-old is one of the commanders in the Gunners’ squad, he feels some of their other players are now starting to become leadership material themselves.
Arsenal transfer news — Granit Xhaka
According to multiple outlets, including The Athletic, Bayer Leverkusen are in talks to sign Xhaka this summer.
He’s been a key player for Arsenal this season, but it looks like the north London club are happy to let him go.
As per Transfermarkt, Xhaka has made 35 appearances in the Premier League. He’s also come up with 12 goal contributions, which is pretty good for a central midfielder.
The Gunners signed Xhaka from Borussia Mönchengladbach for around £30m back in 2016 (via Sky Sports).
What has Paul Brown said about Granit Xhaka and Arsenal?
Brown doesn’t think Xhaka’s potential departure will hurt Arsenal too much with other players in Arteta’s squad starting to emerge as leaders.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the journalist said: “I do think Xhaka is quite important in the dressing room at Arsenal. He’s well respected and has quite an influence on some of the younger players, but they’ve been in a title race this season and they’ve been captained by a young player.
“And I do think some of those younger guys are becoming leadership material themselves. I don’t think they necessarily need a Granit Xhaka putting his arm around them, so he may not be a big loss.”
Who could replace Granit Xhaka at Arsenal?
The most likely candidate is West Ham United captain Declan Rice. Journalist Rudy Galetti recently informed GIVEMESPORT that Arsenal are in “pole position” to sign the 24-year-old this summer.
Currently one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League, he’d be an excellent acquisition for the Gunners.
As per WhoScored, Rice is making 1.8 interceptions this season, which is the highest average in David Moyes’ squad.
Another midfielder who could arrive at Arsenal in the next transfer window is Brighton & Hove Albion’s Moisés Caicedo.
According to The Times, Arteta has been given the green light to target the Ecuadorian as well as Rice.
Xhaka has shown this term that he has a lot to offer, but if Arsenal end up getting both Rice and Caicedo, you suspect fans won’t be too disappointed with the Switzerland international leaving.