Granit Xhaka agreed loan deal with Stoke before move to Arsenal

first_imgGranit Xhaka’s career nearly went a very different way (Picture: AMA/Getty Images)Granit Xhaka very nearly made a loan switch to Stoke City in 2014, but was talked out of it by Borussia Monchengladbach’s director of sport.The midfielder joined Gladbach in 2012 from Swiss side Basel and did not have the best start to life at the Bundesliga club.Xhaka looked set to leave the German team in January 2014 and had agreed a move to the Potters, before he was persuaded otherwise.Max Eberl, the Gladbach director or sport, warned the Switzerland international that a switch to Stoke could end his chances of making it to the elite levels of the sport.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘Granit’s career in the first 18 months at Gladbach did not run [as smoothly] as sliced bread,’ Eberl told the Rheinische Post.‘He was almost ready to be loaned to Stoke and I told him, “If you go to Stoke now, you’ll never end up at a big club – but you could.”‘Xhaka ended up stating at Gladbach and would make 140 appearances for them over four seasons before leaving for Arsenal in the summer of 2016 for around £30m.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityThe 26-year-old is now a fixture in the Arsenal midfield, making 135 appearances since his arrival from Germany and becoming one of the club captains under Unai Emery.Xhaka has even made a plea to his boss to make him the outright club captain after the departure of Laurent Koscielny this summer.‘I would be delighted to be the first Swiss player to captain a Premier League club,’ said the midfielder.‘It would be something special, and a dream come true for me. It would be a recognition of my performances for Arsenal.‘It would also be a special responsibility to follow in the footsteps of great players like Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry.‘I plan to continually improve, work on my game, get better all the time, fine-tune the small details – and to achieve success.‘Everything else comes second to these ambitions.‘We absolutely want to get back to finishing in the top four, and I am convinced the players we have signed can help us achieve it.’MORE: Ian Wright says Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang needs more support from Arsenal teammatesMORE: Unai Emery denies Nicolas Pepe, David Luiz and Kieran Tierney have improved Arsenal’s squad Advertisement Advertisement Commentcenter_img Granit Xhaka agreed loan deal with Stoke before move to Arsenal Metro Sport ReporterSaturday 17 Aug 2019 9:43 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link134Shareslast_img