Arsenal's Granit Xhaka - 'memorable' for good or bad?
- Credit: PA
Whether it was the thunderbolt against Hull City in his debut season, or the free-kick from distance against Chelsea last Boxing Day, Granit Xhaka has been a credible service to Arsenal Football Club.
The memorable highlight is in fact the altercation with the Emirates' faithful after his substitution was sarcastically cheered in October 2019 when Unai Emery’s side dropped two points at home to Crystal Palace.
Two FA Cups in five years means the Swiss midfielder can leave - as expected - for Roma with a good CV. His time at the club has included a rapid decline since the departure of Arsene Wenger in 2018.
Xhaka has been like Marmite among the Arsenal fan base over the years, but many fans have now concluded that he is probably the best in his position at the club.
A haul of 13 goals and 20 assists in 220 games could very well be his final statistics in north London. His leadership traits and professionalism will be remembered, but ultimately he made too many individual mistakes.
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The potential was there for the 24-year-old after he moved from Borussia Monchengladbach for around £30million, but the promise was never fulfilled.
There are many opinions on why this was the case. Maybe it was the interruption of the club's decline or the management he was playing under.
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If there is one thing that he can walk away with, it is that Arsene Wenger, Emery and Mikel Arteta have all trusted the midfielder after constantly selecting him.
It is also important to state that Arsenal must replace Xhaka. He is the cog in the middle of the park and his absence was clear when not in the side, especially during the 2020/21 season.
Recent rumours suggest Ruben Neves of Wolverhampton Wanderers is the man to fill the potential void of Xhaka. The reaction from Arsenal fans has been mixed.
For the Neves of two years ago, Gooners' fans would snap your hand off. But it has now become apparent that there is no upgrade in signing the Portuguese midfielder.
This is a testament to Xhaka and his mentality to change the opinion of Arsenal fans. He will certainly go down as a memorable figure in the history of the club - for good or for bad.