Granit Xhaka has been a controversial figure in his time at the club.
The Swiss midfielder earned a big reputation during his time in the Bundesliga with Borussia Moenchengladbach, and his displays while playing for his country were giving him glowing reviews.
In short, he was wanted by many.
His time at Arsenal has divided our fanbase. Some say he has been a mistake waiting to happen, a player who fails to track back and leaves us open. A player who has the skills but not the concentration.
Another side of opinion is that he is vital to our cause, and the reason he starts the majority of games is because our coaches can see what he brings to the team. An excellent range of passing, a physicality that is needed in our midfield, a winning mentality.
No matter where you stand, Xhaka has stepped up of late. His performances have helped us get into the top 4 and also earn progression in the Europa League.
So Xhaka’s comments recently are not exactly welcome, especially as we are gaining traction.
Whilst on international duty, Xhaka said:
“I’m very ambitious. I want to take the next step. Arsenal does not have to be the last stop.”
This does sound quite ominous, but will there be clubs interested in picking Xhaka up that represent the next step he so craves?
Arguably, only the likes of City, Chelsea, Juventus, Barca and Real Madrid are currently of a bigger stature than Arsenal, and in the case of Chelsea, if Champions League is not reached this season, then they too will be no bigger than the Gunners.
That leaves a very short list of clubs that could give Xhaka the destination he wants.
His statement is obviously designed to stir up potential suitors, but Xhaka only signed a new deal last season, so a fee would have to be big enough to wrench the player away.
No doubt Xhaka wishes to play in the Champions League, and with us currently sitting in third with the majority of the season already played out, he could very well get his wish in the red and white of Arsenal.
Unai Emery will no doubt have words with Xhaka to find out his intentions, and whether the Spaniard can build his long term plans with Xhaka included.