Bayer Leverkusen signs Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka from Arsenal

Thu, Jul 6, 2023
Soccer News (AP)

Bayer Leverkusen signs Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka from Arsenal

LEVERKUSEN, Germany (AP) - Bayer Leverkusen has brought Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka back to the Bundesliga from English Premier League side Arsenal.

The 30-year-old Xhaka signed a contract through June 2028, Leverkusen said on Thursday.

"In Granit we were able to win an absolute top professional for ourselves," Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes said. "His footballing quality is known everywhere. But there are few players who can lead so well thanks to an outstanding mentality and personality."

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Neither Leverkusen nor Arsenal divulged the transfer fee. Online sports website The Athletic reported it was 25 million euros ($27.1 million) "although sources close to Leverkusen are insisting the fee is lower."

Xhaka played 268 games for Arsenal since joining the London-based club in 2016 from Borussia Monchengladbach. He helped the team to second place in the league last season with seven goals in 37 games. He scored 21 altogether for Arsenal.

Xhaka also impressed in four years at Gladbach, where he scored nine goals in 140 games for the Bundesliga club after joining in 2012 from FC Basel.

"I know the league inside out and also always watched it from London," Xhaka told his new club. "Bayer 04 is a club with an impressive history and high targets. Above all, though, I see it as a club with a big future."

Leverkusen finished sixth in the Bundesliga under coach Xabi Alonso and will play in the Europa League next season.

Xhaka is the club's fourth new signing this summer after the arrivals of Germany midfielder Jonas Hofmann from Gladbach, Brazilian defender Arthur from America Mineiro, and Spanish defender Alejandro Grimaldo from Benfica.

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