Following Granit Xhaka’s straight red card in Arsenal’s 1-0 home defeat by Burnley on 13th December, the Switzerland national team captain’s future has gone up in the air again, with under-pressure Gunners manager Mikel Arteta looking to potentially shift the 28-year-old off the wage books to make way for new signings in the January transfer window.
Xhaka is now in his fifth season at the Emirates Stadium and was bought in the final year of Arsene Wenger’s 22-year regime for £35m from Borussia Monchengladbach and has failed to impress during his time at the Gunners, with many being confused as to what position in the midfield he actually plays, as well as the fact that he has a reputation for being hot-headed, receiving 37 yellow and three red cards since his move from Germany. Xhaka looked in serious danger of being axed altogether by Arsenal last season under former manager Unai Emery after the former Basel midfielder was booed off when substituted in his sides 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace in October last year; before cupping his ears to the crowd to antagonise them even more whilst taking his shirt off. This incident saw Emery strip Xhaka of his captaincy. After five seasons of below-par performances in England, the Switzerland international has been linked with moves away to the Serie A, which could be of some benefit to his game, with it naturally being a slower-paced league, alike the Bundesliga which he previously thrived in.