Mikel Arteta expects Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka to remain at Arsenal despite being heavily linked with a move to Hertha Berlin this month.
Granit Xhaka has been impressive under Arteta and was instrumental in the 2 nil win against Manchester United in the Premier League. This is a far cry to when he was booed off the pitch in a Premier League home game against Crystal Palace.
Hertha Berlin are genuinely interested in the midfielder according to reports but Arteta has received assurances that Xhaka will stay put at the Emirates.
“I think he will stay,” Arteta said.
“He was very good. I really like him. The way we want to play, if we get him on board he can be a tremendous player for the football club.
“It is everything – his commitment, I like the way he is, the way he lives, his professional(ism), and the way he trains.
“How focused he is every time I am talking, he is listening and willing to learn and he is a great football player.
“The way we want to play, there are not as many with his quality on the ball and the way he eliminates passes, and the range of his pass. I am delighted to have him.”
When asked if Xhaka told him he would remain at Arsenal beyond the January transfer window, Arteta replied: “He did, yes.”
Meanwhile, Arteta is set to meet with Arsenal’s technical director Edu and head of football Raul Sanllehi on Thursday to discuss plans for the month including the return of Eddie Nketiah to the Emirates.
New boss Arteta added: “At the moment we are suffering a little bit to try to maintain that level of intensity we are playing in the first half. It will come.
“It is part of the process and the way we train. At the moment we don’t have much time to do so. As well I liked the resilience and I liked to see them suffer together.
“When they had to defend deeper I wanted to see that reaction. Instead of getting annoyed when someone gave the ball away, it was all positive reactions and everyone tracking back. I am pleased with that aspect of the game as well.”