The move, agreed at a substantial £21.5m, not only brings an end to Xhaka’s seven-year stint at the Emirates but also sets a new precedent as the highest fee received by a Premier League club for a player in their thirties.
- Granit Xhaka’s eventful time at Arsenal finally comes to a close as the midfielder signs a £21.5m deal with Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen
- The Switzerland international had his best season in an Arsenal shirt, proving instrumental in the club’s recent FA Cup triumphs and their 2022/23 season.
- The £21.5m transfer fee set a new record for a Premier League club receiving the highest amount for a midfielder in their thirties.
It’s a poignant moment for the Gunners, as they bid farewell to a player who, for better or worse, was a central figure in the team’s narrative over the past seven years.
Xhaka was a regular fixture in the Arsenal lineup, earning himself a total of 297 appearances across all competitions.
He scored 23 goals and provided 29 assists, etching his name into the club’s history by helping Arsenal lift the FA Cup twice and the Community Shield on two occasions.
Hailing from Switzerland, Xhaka has represented his country on numerous occasions and is currently the second-most-capped player in Swiss history.
Before his Arsenal chapter, Xhaka’s journey began at Basel, where he shone bright enough to earn a move to Borussia Monchengladbach. After an influential stint in Germany, he made the switch to North London, where he quickly asserted his dominance in the midfield.
Xhaka’s influence on the team was such that both Sporting Director Edu and Manager Mikel Arteta expressed their genuine heartfelt gratitude for his commitment to the club.
The farewell, though, is not one without a silver lining.
The Gunners managed to strike a deal with Leverkusen that sees them receive a record-breaking £21.5m for the Swiss midfielder.
The transfer marks the highest fee a Premier League club has ever received for a midfielder in their thirties, surpassing the previous record set by Arsenal’s own deal for Jorginho which was a mere £10m + £2m.
As Xhaka moves to take on a new challenge, his legacy at Arsenal remains undisputed. His performances and unwavering commitment have made him a beloved figure at the club who goes out at the highest point of his Arsenal career.
His 2022/23 campaign saw him bag his highest goal tally in a single season, proving instrumental in Arsenal’s run which saw them finally return to the Champions League after an unexpected title charge.
While it’s certainly a shame to see Xhaka leave after arguably his best season at the Emirates, this transfer will benefit all parties involved.
The hefty fee will aid Arsenal’s future endeavours, and Bayer Leverkusen are acquiring an experienced, quality player.
As the dust settles on this historic deal, one can’t help but wish Granit Xhaka all the best in his new Bundesliga journey.
Granit Xhaka’s Bayer Leverkusen deal
Granit Xhaka has signed a five-year deal with Bayer Leverkusen that will tie him to the club until 2028 when he will be just a couple of months away from turning 36.
“In Granit we have been able to bring in an absolute top player,” Simon Rolfes, Bayer Leverkusen’s sporting managing director said about the transfer. “His ability on the pitch is well known. But, above all, there are few players who are able to so convincingly lead a team like he does thanks to his outstanding mentality and personality.”
Xhaka himself added, “I know the league inside out and I watched it when I was in London. Bayer 04 is a club with an impressive history and ambitious targets.
“Above all, I see it as a club with a great future. Discussions with the management have been incredibly motivating. Everybody here is ambitious and wants to achieve something – I’m very much looking forward to the next few years.”