Granit Xhaka joins Bayer Leverkusen

Granit Xhaka has joined Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen on a permanent transfer.

The midfielder signed for us in May 2016 and has made 297 appearances in all competitions, scoring 23 goals and assisting 29 times. A two-time FA Cup winner, he also won the FA Community Shield twice during his time with the club.

The Switzerland national team captain, he has represented his country at all levels and has made 115 senior appearances to date, scoring 13 goals. The 30-year-old has played in two UEFA European Championships and three FIFA World Cups and is currently the second-most-capped player in Switzerland’s history.

Granit was born in Switzerland to Albanian parents with Kosovan heritage and, as a 17-year-old, scored on his first-team debut for Basel in a UEFA Champions League qualifier against Debrecen at the beginning of the 2010/2011 season. He went on to lift silverware in his first season – the Swiss Super League – with his hometown club. 

At the end of the 2011/12 campaign, Granit joined Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach. During an influential stint in Germany, he made 140 appearances in all competitions and became Gladbach’s club captain at just 22 years old.

Granit headed to north London at the end of the 2015/16 season and made his competitive debut for us against Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on August 14, 2016. His first goal for the club came the following month in a 4-1 Premier League victory away to Hull City.

Granit was instrumental in both of our most recent FA Cup triumphs, which extended the club’s winning record in the historic competition. He was a key figure as we progressed to Wembley in both 2017 and 2020 and was in the starting XI on each occasion in the momentous victories over Chelsea.

Each FA Cup win was followed by FA Community Shield success – against Chelsea and Liverpool respectively – with Granit featuring in both wins.

The 2022/23 campaign saw the Swiss play an integral role during our impressive season. He made 47 appearances in all competitions and scored nine goals, his highest tally in a single season, including a brace in the final day victory over Wolves – a fitting way to end a superb career with us.

Sporting Director Edu said: “Granit has been a big part of our club for a long time. He has given us great commitment and quality over the years, playing such an important role in our progression and success. He leaves us with our huge respect and thanks. We wish Granit all the best for the future.”

Mikel Arteta added: “We are saying goodbye to a fantastic player and person loved by all of us. It has been an incredible journey together for him and he has given absolutely everything for this club. The influence Granit has had on his team mates on the pitch and colleagues at the club, will tell you just how popular he is.

“We cannot thank Granit enough for his service and contribution to this club over the years. We wish Granit and his family all the best in the next step of their lives.”

Everyone at Arsenal thanks Granit for his contribution during his seven years with us and wish him and his family the best of health and happiness in the future.

The deal is subject to the completion of regulatory processes.

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