Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka is reportedly in line to earn a new contract in North London.
The Switzerland captain has enjoyed a major redemption arc under Mikel Arteta since his infamous outburst when Unai Emery was in charge.
Xhaka was expected to leave Arsenal after reacting to fan jeers against Crystal Palace in 2019, storming down the tunnel after ripping off his shirt and being stripped of the captaincy in the process.
However, the arrival of Arteta sparked a turnaround in Xhaka’s Arsenal fortunes, and the 30-year-old is one of the first names on the team sheet under the Spaniard.
Xhaka has started the 2022-23 Premier League season in stellar form with two goals and three assists from nine outings, including a strike against Tottenham Hotspur in the North London derby.
The former Borussia Monchengladbach man has been widely linked with a move to Jose Mourinho‘s Roma over the past year, but he signed a new three-year deal at Arsenal in 2021.
Those terms are due to expire at the end of next season, but Arsenal are understood to possess the option to trigger a 12-month extension until the summer of 2025.
Now, Football Insider claims that Arsenal intend to open talks with the midfielder over fresh terms, and discussions are likely to take place after the 2022 World Cup.
Xhaka has formed an effective midfield partnership with Thomas Partey to help Arsenal climb to the summit of the Premier League table, and he has only missed two minutes of top-flight action this term.
The Switzerland international – who often takes the captain’s armband if Martin Odegaard is substituted or unavailable – has now amassed 16 goals and 25 assists in 261 appearances for the Gunners since joining in 2016.
Xhaka acted as skipper when Arsenal ran out 3-0 winners over Brentford in September, and Arteta was delighted to see the midfielder “feel the love” from the Gunners fans.
“I think he feels now that love and respect both ways. You see our supporters, the way they were singing to him as well, emotionally that makes him try to give even more. I’m really pleased for him because in my opinion he really deserves it,” Arteta told reporters.
When asked on what Xhaka’s recent revival is down to, Arteta added: “His consistency, and how he goes about every day. What he’s learnt in different moments of his career, whether here or with the national team.
“Also his willingness always to stay humble, to look forward and try to get better and when you do that, normally good things happen.”
Xhaka is not the only player Arsenal are trying to tie down to fresh terms, as negotiations are ongoing with the young trio of Bukayo Saka, William Saliba and Gabriel Martinelli.