Arsenal owners provide insight into Granit Xhaka contract extension

Arsenal owners elude reasons behind Xhaka contract extension

Arsenal owners Stan and Josh Kroenke were quoted in the Gunners’ pre-match programme in the run-up to their capital clash with Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea on Sunday with positivity surrounding the club’s position this summer, as well as eluding why midfielder Granit Xhaka had his contract extended.

“We know there is much work ahead to get back to where we need to be but are confident about what can be achieved by this great club and our people. We are building a squad, rich in young talent, much of it developed through our wonderful academy. It is clear looking across Europe that we are dealing with a difficult transfer market due to the impacts of the pandemic but at the time of writing, are delighted to have signed Nuno Tavares, Sambi Lokonga and Ben White.”

It is clear that Arsenal has embarked on a transfer policy that has targetted both long-term stability and potential, with transfer business for Sambi Lokonga, Ben White, Nuno Tavares, Aaron Ramsdale, and Martin Ødegaard eclipsing the £120 million mark, but providing Mikel Arteta with five players 23-years-old or younger to aid in the squad building project.

Arsenal owners elude reasons behind Xhaka contract extension

Chelsea’s English midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek (L) vies with Arsenal’s Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka (R) during the pre-season friendly football match between Arsenal and Chelsea at The Emirates Sadium in north London on August 1, 2021. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

But when it comes to Granit Xhaka, whose move to Serie A side AS Roma broke down and resulted in an unexpected contract extension for the Swiss international stalwart, the Kroenkes have made mention of the importance of balance in the team, despite the youth drive Arsenal is in the midst of.

“We have also renewed the deals of Kieran Tierney and Emile Smith Rowe, both on a long-term basis. These are all young players that we are convinced can develop further and have a bright future with us.”

With Arteta’s squad now one of the youngest in the Premier League after the summer spending that took place at the Emirates, Xhaka is one of just seven players that are aged-27 or older, and though the club is clearly focused on a long-term strategy, the importance of senior figures in the team cannot be understated.

This article was edited by
Conor Laird.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester United 1 4 3
2 Chelsea FC 1 3 3
3 Liverpool FC 1 3 3
4 West Ham United 1 2 3
5 Everton FC 1 2 3
6 Brentford FC 1 2 3
7 Watford FC 1 1 3
8 Brighton & Hove Albion 1 1 3
9 Leicester City 1 1 3
10 Tottenham Hotspur 1 1 3
11 Aston Villa 1 -1 0
12 Burnley FC 1 -1 0
13 Manchester City 1 -1 0
14 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 -1 0
15 Newcastle United 1 -2 0
16 Southampton FC 1 -2 0
17 Arsenal FC 1 -2 0
18 Crystal Palace 1 -3 0
19 Norwich City 1 -3 0
20 Leeds United 1 -4 0
Player Team Goals
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 3
Ings, Danny Aston Villa 2
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 2
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 2
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 2
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 1
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 1
Doucoure, Abdoulaye Everton FC 1
Benrahma, Said West Ham United 1
Richarlison Everton FC 1
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 1
Cresswell, Aaron West Ham United 1
Klich, Mateusz Leeds United 1
Duffy, Shane Brighton & Hove Albion 1
Alonso, Marcos Chelsea FC 1
Ayling, Luke Leeds United 1
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 1
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United 1
Norgaard, Christian Brentford FC 1
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 1

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