Arsenal legend Gilberto Silva is “sad” to see Granit Xhaka leave this summer amid reports linking him with Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen.
The 30-year-old has enjoyed a late-career renaissance during the 2022/23 campaign as he shone for Arsenal as they challenged for the Premier League title.
Mikel Arteta used the Switzerland international in a more advanced role and he was involved in 14 goals in his 37 Premier League appearances.
Despite this, Xhaka is set to leave Arsenal during this summer’s transfer window. He is out of contract in 2024 and it is being reported that he has ‘agreed’ to sign for Bayer Leverkusen.
Arsenal are expected to receive around £13m for Xhaka and Arteta admitted before the end of the 22/23 season that the midfielder’s future needs to be “discussed”.
“The clarity is there. He is a player that has played I think every minute since I have been the manager,” Arteta said.
“He is an incredibly respected figure at the club. He has a great story around him with what he has achieved at the club in going through very tough moments and he is a key and very important part of us. Whatever happens is something we will discuss, certainly not now.”
Silva has now admitted that it “would be sad to see him leave” Arsenal this summer.
“This year, Xhaka has done so well for the team, he had a tough time two years ago but regained the confidence of the club and the fans especially, and did fantastic,” Silva told The Daily Mail.
“It would be sad to see him leave, it would be great to have him [stay] a little more at the club because he became an important part of the team.”
Arsenal fell short to Man City in the title race but Silva has still insisted that the 22/23 campaign can still be “considered a success” for his former club.
“I look at it as a success, not many people expected Arsenal to challenge for the title especially against Manchester City,” Silva added.
“Of course, everybody is disappointed on missing out on the opportunity to become champions especially because they’ve been waiting for this moment for such a long time, they were so close but in the end, they were so far.
“We have to look back on how we began this season, we can consider it a success especially because Arsenal are back in the Champions League after such a long time.”
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