Granit Xhaka, Arsenal FC midfielder, has been a key player for the London-based club since his arrival in 2016. Born in Basel, Switzerland, Xhaka began his professional football career with FC Basel, where he played 128 professional games and became the Swiss league champion twice. In May 2016, he signed a five-year contract with Arsenal FC, making him the club’s third most expensive signing in history.
Xhaka’s first season at Arsenal FC was a mixed bag of performances. Though he scored three goals and made two assists in the Premier League that season, he was also sent off twice in the league and received criticism from fans and pundits for his poor disciplinary record. However, he found his form in the following season, where he scored four goals and made ten assists in 37 appearances across all competitions.
Since then, Xhaka has become an integral part of Arsenal FC’s midfield. His technical ability, vision, and passing range have made him a key figure in the team’s style of play. He has also proven to be versatile, able to play in different midfield positions, and has taken on the role of captain since September 2019.
However, the pressure of expectations has driven the midfielder into challenging situations. Recently, in a match against Crystal Palace on October 27th, 2019, Xhaka was substituted in the second half, and upon hearing loud boos and jeers from the Arsenal fans, he responded by gesturing at them and leaving the pitch slowly, further provoking the fans. This led to widespread criticism from Arsenal supporters and media outlets, prompting the club to strip him of the captaincy.
Xhaka has since apologized for his actions, but the incidents have undoubtedly taken a toll on his mental health. In an interview with Swiss newspaper Blick, Xhaka spoke openly about how the pressure of playing for Arsenal has affected him both on and off the pitch. “It’s not about me, but my family, too. They are bothered by [the situation],” he said. “A lot of words were said which hurt me.” He also added that he had received death threats which he deemed “unacceptable”.
Despite the recent controversy, Xhaka remains committed to Arsenal FC and its supporters. He recognizes the importance of the club and the pressure to perform that comes with playing for the team. Xhaka stresses that he is grateful for the opportunity to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“I’ve been a fan of Arsenal since I was a child. I loved watching players like Thierry Henry and Robert Pires, and now I’m playing for the same club. It’s an amazing feeling,” he said. “But there is a lot of pressure. The fans, the media, and the club all expect a lot from us. We have to perform at the highest level every time we step onto the pitch.”
Xhaka believes the burden of expectations can be positive if channeled correctly. He acknowledges that the team needs to improve its performance and believes that they can achieve their goals if they work together and remain focused.
“The pressure can be a good thing. It can motivate us to be better and to work harder,” he said. “We have to stay united and support each other. We are a team, and we have to work together to achieve our goals. We have to stay positive and focused.”
Xhaka emphasizes the importance of strong leadership and a positive team culture in achieving success on and off the pitch. He believes that the team can overcome recent setbacks and emerge stronger if they work together and stay committed to the task at hand.
“We have a lot of talented players in the squad, but talent alone isn’t enough,” he said. “We need leaders, both on and off the pitch. We need to support each other and be positive. We have to believe in ourselves and our abilities, and we have to stay focused on the task at hand.”
In conclusion, Granit Xhaka remains a vital member of the Arsenal FC squad and is determined to lead the team to success despite recent setbacks. His commitment to the team, positive attitude, and leadership qualities make him a valuable asset on and off the pitch. Xhaka’s mental strength and ability to handle pressure will be key to his continued success at Arsenal and beyond.