Granit Xhaka eventually divulges the little-known reason he joined Bayer Leverkusen instead of staying at Arsenal.


Granit Xhaka eventually divulges the little-known reason he joined Bayer Leverkusen instead of staying at Arsenal.

Granit Xhaka at last admits the secret reason he left Arsenal to join Bayer Leverkusen: “I feel the Arsenal fans deserve an explanation. This is now the right time and perfect time for me to speak.”

Die Werkslef was facing relegation when Xabi Alonso was named head coach of Bayer Leverkusen in October of last year. Alonso’s team did, however, qualify for European football after a stunning turnabout in performance, and anticipations were high going into this season. 
Star players like Grimaldo, Jonas Hofman, and Victor Boniface moved to the BayArena during the summer transfer window, proving there was cause for excitement among those connected to the Werkself. However, Granit Xhaka, a former captain of Arsenal, was one addition that made headlines. 

The Swiss international, who caused controversy in London, was regarded as a crucial addition given Alonso’s preferred playmaking style for his team. It was a wise decision as the Swiss international helped Leverkusen push for a title contender by playing some of his most excellent football to date. But above all, Xhaka offers a plethora of leadership and experience—something he would downplay in an interview with NZZ am Sonntag: 

What does boss mean? The word is a bit big. I didn’t come to Leverkusen as a boss, but because I was looking for new challenge.
“I felt like my time at Arsenal was over for me after seven years in London”.

“I came here as an experiencend player and person. The other players see that i can give them something of what i have learned. that’s part of my role.”

Having represented his nation in 117 international games, the Swiss international also denied rumors that he returned to Germany because of his spouse.

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“It was something written that I was coming back to Germany because of my Spouse. That’s not the truth. Like me, she was very happy in London,” he highlighted.

As an athlete and football player, I made this decision alone. I joined a top German club that is goal-oriented and has a plan. Naturally, we had a smoother transition because, like me, we had previously lived in Düsseldorf, near Monchengladbach, my wife’s hometown.” 

Xhaka went on to discuss how the atmosphere at Bayer Leverkusen differs from that at Arsenal. There is no chaos at Bayer Leverkusen, where you may work in peace while other clubs are more focused. This is a benefit, Xhaka stated.

At Arsenal the pressure is different.”

“I would be lying if I said that the pressure and attention were the same in Leverkusen,” he continued, adding that although he “experienced it all at Arsenal’, including scandals and unrest,” things are less interesting under the Bayer cross. 
However, our expectations of ourselves and the pressure we put on ourselves are far more significant. We have a great deal of faith in ourselves, as I mentioned. 

Xhaka talked about his relationship with Xabi Alonso, the coach of Leverkusen, and how he made good midfielders into elite ones. “He was extremely unpleasant [as a player]. Thanks to his cleverness, pass security, and timing, you never even had to press against him. That’s what he conveys to us today,” Xhaka said. 

Regarding where he would play on the field, Xhaka disclosed that his first discussion with Alonso focused on whether he would be at position eight or six. “I primarily played further up in midfield for Arsenal back then. 

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I’m most comfortable at six, not eight, as we both agreed. This six-man role at Leverkusen fits me like a glove with the concepts and the structure here,” he said.