Arsenal boss Unai Emery is set to hold talks with Granit Xhaka when the midfielder returns from international duty, according to the Chronicle.
The £100,000-a-week Swiss ace [Spotrac] has been at the centre of a barrage of controversy after an ill-tempered confrontation with supporters following his substitution against Crystal Palace at the end of October, with Emery even stripping him of the captain’s armband.
And according to a report from the Newcastle-based outlet, he and the manager are on course for a summit over his future, with Emery having already discussed the matter with the board and the Toon Army understood to be monitoring the situation closely.
Does Xhaka have a future at Arsenal?
If we’re being honest, the signs really don’t look too good.
Xhaka has always been an inflammatory character, as illustrated by his total of 29 yellow and two red cards in 108 Premier League appearances, as per the league themselves, but when that natural fighting spirit begins to get turned inwards, the omens aren’t too promising.
Make no mistake, Xhaka is not entirely to blame here by any metric. He has endured a lot at the hands of certain sections of the fanbase, and he is only human, but regardless of blame and causation, we still find ourselves in a situation where his reputation and image have become severely tarnished.
Losing the captaincy was a big step, although it did feel like a necessary measure from Emery, and the reported interest from Newcastle shows that Xhaka has a potential escape route too. In that regard, the door has been opened for him, and there’s nothing to stop him walking through it, provided Emery doesn’t beg him to stay.
A factor that is perhaps getting over looked, however, and one that should maybe be considered, is how significant he is for the side.
Certainly, his form has waned a fair amount this season, and his Whoscored rating of 6.65 leaves a lot to be desired.
You could argue, therefore, he contributes less than he should on the field, and with things looking so grim behind the scenes, now might be the time to part ways with the Gunners.