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Roma agree Xhaka fee

Arsenal and Roma have finally agreed on a fee for Switzerland international Granit Xhaka. The former Borussia Monchengladbach player has been linked with a move to the Italian side for a couple of weeks now.

Having spent a number of years at Arsenal he has become a divisive figure amongst the fanbase and there are large proportions who will not be concerned to see him leave.

However, he has still been an extremely important part of Mikel Arteta’s, and Unai Emery’s and Arsene Wenger’s before him, team.

He has one of the highest cumulative minutes of all his teammates each season and is an influential figure in the dressing room.

At 28 he is still in his prime with many more years to give, especially for a player of his style.

Which is why the ~£15.5 million fee associated with the deal may come as a surprise.

 

Arsenal’s Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka (R) has this shot saved during the English FA Cup third round football match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium in London on January 9, 2021. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Why is the fee so low?

Of course this will have something to do with the pandemic, however, when the man reportedly targeted to replace Xhaka, Ruben Neves of Wolves, is touted to have an associated fee around three times greater it makes for grim reading.

All the latest on the Ruben Neves to Arsenal transfer rumours.https://t.co/WCWTPZ0rWj

— Arsenal FC News (@ArsenalFC_fl) June 8, 2021

 

Some may argue that £15 million off of a £35 million price tag is a decent discount. However, Arsenal have been so poor at selling players in the past that yet another meagre sale on the balance sheet will not improve their reputation in the market.

A move between Premier League clubs is always going to garner a premium on any price and that shouldn’t be neglected, but it is tough to shake the on-the-surface perception of the Gunners selling on the cheap yet again.

Although the club do have additional factors going against them. Xhaka was open to the move, the club need to export a number of non-homegrown players to reinvest and of course there is always questions about Arsenal’s financial muscle with a lack of investment from their owners.

What will make the £15.5m pill easier to swallow will be whatever follows. A strong window and likely all will be forgotten, fail to secure top signings, and the hole left by the Swiss midfielder may be a sinking one for the Gunners’ upcoming season.

 

 

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SportJudges
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