Granit Xhaka is close to leaving Arsenal for AS Roma after agreeing a five-year contract with the Serie A side.
According to Football London, the Swiss international will join Roma imminently, and that manager Jose Mourinho has been in contact with Xhaka regularly over the past few weeks. The deal is expected to be in the region of €20m (17m).
Xhaka was an established first-team player Arsene Wenger, Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta. However, since he arrived in 2016, Arsenal have failed to finish in the top four of the Premier League. This season, the Gunners missed out on Europe entirely after finished the year in eighth place.
Xhaka the first of many sales for Arsenal
Moreover, Arsenal are looking to sell a lot of first-team players this summer. Matteo Guendouzi is reportedly close to joining Marseille according to La Provence, whilst Hector Bellerin continues to be linked with a return to Spain.
As well as departures, incomings are likely to be plentiful this summer. As reported by the Athletic, RB Leipzig youngster Tyler Adams is a potential option for Arsenal. The Gunners are also keen on Wolves maestro Ruben Neves as well as R.S.C. Anderlecht starlet Albert Sambi Lokonga.
Xhaka leaves Arsenal as a player who divided opinion more than anyone else in the squad.
On one side, you have fans who believe the Swiss midfielder was a key member of the squad who will be missed. On the other, you have supporters who think the 28-year-old maverick should have left years ago, and that this transfer will be the beginning of something new for the club.
Indeed, there’s no denying that Xhaka had bright spells with the Gunners and brought leadership to the team. Yet, his errors, mistakes and reckless decisions have cost Arsenal dearly in some games. Furthermore, his technical qualities should be easy to replace this summer if Mikel Arteta signs smartly this summer.