Xhaka to Milan? An opportunity to get a real midfield enforcer

According to various news outlets, Xhaka has made up his mind. He would like to leave AFC after his fall out with the fans. Gazidis tested the waters with him and Xhaka is now keen to join AC Milan. The news goes as far as saying that he was spotted looking for a house in Milano. This could all be fake news but let us assume that these rumours are true…

Xhaka is still worth 45M EUR in the current market so I think we can recoup our investment…If the guy leaves, there are a few things that we can say about him:

  1. He did not hide, played with heart and always gave a 100%
  2. His teammates and managers seem to recognize his leadership competencies
  3. His passing range was not bad at all
  4. He did not live up to the expectations
  5. He was maybe played out of position
  6. He crystallized the failure of the team in the last few seasons
  7. He will not be sorely missed

Now if he goes, we need to replace him for sure because the gap at DM would become wider with his departure. In January, opportunities to land a quality player are usually rarer than in the summer. That said, there is always space to make a “coup”. Here are some ideas:

  1. Allan from Napoli wants to leave after his house was broken into by disappointed fans;
  2. Emre Can has hit rock bottom at Juventus and wants to leave;
  3. Matic (I know I know but I have to list him nevertheless)
  4. Zakaria but would be hard to get him now as his team is first in the Bundesliga
  5. SMS may be persuaded to join us
  6. No one and ask Chambers or Luiz to play DM
  7. Rakitic from Barcelona, he recently gave an interview saying he was sad at Barcelona

Anyways, if Xhaka leaves, we have an opportunity to upgrade at DM or at least bolster our defensive cohesiveness in midfield. I hope we do the right thing and take this opportunity and make the right investment.




63 Responses to Xhaka to Milan? An opportunity to get a real midfield enforcer

  1. Twig says:


  2. RC78 says:

    Twig – Ndidi could have been persuaded last year or in the summer but now, given the teams form…The only way we could land him would be to finish Top 4, ideally ahead of Leicester…and that means waiting for the summer.

  3. roshan says:

    Thomas Partey!

  4. RC78 says:

    Again great name but can we get him in January? Very unlikely

  5. RC78 says:

    I say let s get Allan or Rakitic or SMS this winter and then make a move for Ndidi or Partey this summer and we d then part with LT…

    Leno – Bello, Holding, Luiz, Tierney – Douzi, LT, Allan – Pepe, Laca, Auba

    Next summer – get the Partey started 😢sorry for the bad joke

  6. I’d prefer it if we avoided overseas players. We may need to look to genuine homegrown anyway after Brexit, and with what we have at the club already we should be well covered.

  7. fred1266 says:

    Luiz still in your starting squad for the next season, u kidding right

  8. RC78 says:

    @SR – which homegrown player would you recommend?
    -> Declan Rice? Eric Dier? Hayden? Lundstram? Prose? McTominay?

  9. fred1266 says:

    If we get Hayden that would be ironic will be coquilen all over again

  10. RC78 says:

    @Fred – squad for Jan 2020 not July 2020 regarding Luiz ; and agree for Hayden

    I am not sure there is any British talent (different than home-grown) that can improve us at DM. What do you think?

  11. RC78…TBH I don’t have a clue, we have highly paid staff for that job, but I’d look at what we already had at the club first.

  12. LB says:

    Thanks for the read RC, much appreciated.

  13. Sean says:

    I’m glad Xhaka will leave maybe at least he will be appreciated somewhere else.a

  14. fred1266 says:

  15. VP of Oz says:

    fred, just watched that TH clip. What the F was that about? That was bizzare.

  16. fred1266 says:

    My bad rc78 thought was summer transfer

  17. fred1266 says:

    Apparently the player didn’t put pack the chair how he meet it,

  18. RC78 says:

    Is it annoying anyone else that Ox has become a lot more clinical? Klopp plays him in the middle as a B2B and so does Southgate and it seems that playing where he wanted is helping him flourish…I think that his transfer annoyed me the most, more so than Ramsey s even…

  19. GoonerB says:

    Thanks RC for the post. Before I make a final judgement on who we need I really need to know who SMS is. I googled it and apparently we will be getting “sponsored management system” if we buy him. Not as catchy as some footballer names out there but some of the Brazilian names are a tad unusual so maybe if we put an “io” on the end of “system” it could work.

    Anyway, I never felt Xhaka was quite right for the EPL because I think more than any other league the 2 most DM’s need to compliment each other, and comprise that proper invisible wall type, who is maybe more positionally disciplined, and a more BTB type who can carry the ball and drive through the midfield.

    Xhaka doesn’t quite fit the mould of either. He is more a deeper lying DM playmaker but who still needs the invisible wall next to him (a bit like Pirlo was). We never played that type of player next to him, like he had before he came to us, so we don’t know if we could have worked with this system. My gut feeling is that it would have been suitable for some games but not as our main go to system in the EPL.

    I am sad with what happened with him and wish we could have tried him with that correct player next to him because you never really know till you have actually tried it out. I feel this club has been in a constant cycle of not trying something different that could have worked better over the last few years. I feel we have missed many moments of opportunity to tweak and test something different, when we had little to lose, and just stayed with what was not working.

    I think Xhaka would very much suit the Italian game and if he ends up leaving us for there then he goes with my best wishes and thanks for his efforts. Again, it is not his fault that successive managers have failed to play a midfield that compliments him and hope that he becomes something he is not.

    Out of the ones I know more Ndidi does indeed look the strongest because he is here and doing it in the EPL all ready. However, I agree that we will be unlikely to get him right now, and quite frankly we may not even look a better prospect than Leicester moving into next season.

    Something I meant to say the other day and ran out of time. I had the pleasure of a half hour conversation with a Fulham season ticket holder, and so asked the question “what was your assessment on Chambers?” Our converstaion from this point went something like this:

    “Well, when he first came he was tried a couple of times at right full back and centre back, but we didn’t think he was all that. However, once he was switched into the holding midfield role he was a revelation, and was rightly our player of the season. We were all sorry we couldn’t keep hold of him. He did the technical stuff well and won back and recycled the ball well, and actually has a deceptive burst of pace that you don’t see immediately. We had spent £25m on Seri and a similar amount on another player but Chambers was the one who looked like the more expensive quality purchase”.


    “Do you think he had what it takes to play that role at the top end of the EPL?”


    “Yes I do actually”.

    So there you have it. Now there is no guarantee that the EPL club player of the season for a relegated club will be quite good enough for the top end of the EPL, but again we can only really know after a run of games in the position. My question again would be why have we not tried him out there and instead persisted with what has quite worked?

  20. GoonerB says:

    sorry, “not quite worked”

    Every time I have seen him play I have been impressed with Sean Longstaff at Newcastle. He looks strong, tenacious, athletic, and has a good passing range. Looks like a very good “invisible wall” in the making. Might not be easy to pry a Geordie boy out of the Toon, especially as his brother has also progressed into the 1st team. Anyone else have any feelings on him?

  21. RC78 says:

    SMS – Milinko Savic from Lazio Roma, Serbian international

    I agree that Chambers and/or Luiz should be given a run at DM, especially in the current situation with Xhaka out

  22. RC78 says:

    I did a little statistics comparison on whoscored.com and
    – Ndidi comes out on top in terms of defensive contribution
    – Allan and Milinko Savic come on top in terms of passing

  23. Aaron says:

    Does the Arsenal really even look at players as compliments to each other or scout out those they are interested based on other factors in a vacuum? Think I know the answer to that question.

    If the Arsenal lose to southhampton this weekend, than the probability of making it to the top 4 goes from 20% to 13%:-(

    On top of that the entertainment product at this point is absolute garbage.

    Only will watch now and then to see how the youngsters get along in the EPL this year.

  24. LB says:

    If Arsenal lose to Southampton, Emery might as well leave and turn the lights off behind him.

  25. GoonerB says:

    There will always be some light at the end of the tunnel LB. Its just that we seem to be travelling through some bloody long tunnels these days.

  26. RC78 says:

    So I did a little stats comparison of DMs across major leagues on whoscored.com

    Ndidi is the best rated, he also tackles the most, intercepts the most and is in top 5 in clearance

    Surprisingly, Declan Rice is also top 10 in all the above and McTominay is Top 10 in all but clearances

    Also there is a player called Dani Garcia from Bilbao that seems to appear a lot in the Top 10 as well

  27. LB says:


    Nice one GB

  28. RC78 says:

    Cazorla scored
    Xhaka did not concede a goal with CH

  29. RC78 says:

    Anyone watching Fed?

  30. fred1266 says:

    What have I missed went to opticians yesterday was had the worst horrendous side effects from the drops had me out while day yesterday

  31. Sue says:

    RC.. Cavani off to LA Galaxy to replace Ibrahimovic?? ☹ PSG want Lallana?

    I’m buzzing… Gerwyn Price just beat Michael van Gerwen 🎯💪 Just put Arsenal women on… now 2-0 up against the spuds 😉
    Not long until Wrighty and the jungle……. 😎

  32. fred1266 says:

    Rc78 can u resend me the link you sent me earlier to get tickets for psg games

  33. RC78 says:

    try fnac.com or directly the psg website

  34. fred1266 says:

    Does anyone know we’re I can get information on the away point system arsenal has implemented to get tickets for away games

  35. RA says:


    Have you tried the official Arsenal website ; arsenal.com

    Click on ‘Tickets and membership”

    It gives details of ticket access, and the different types of membership. or :-

    Go to google and type in : “Arsenal away ticket scheme” and it will lead you to various website articles discussing ticket access: and shows :-

    – General Admission (Away Fan) Ticket Terms and Conditions 2019-20

    – Away Match Ticket Match by Match Terms and Conditions 2019-20

    both related to the http://www.arsenal.com website again.

    Hope that helps.

  36. fred1266 says:

    Thanks RA

    Will check it out now

  37. LB says:

    Wow Podgy has gone, Levi acts quick over there, always just before the finger points to him.

    What was it one signing in the summer, what the hell did they expect?

  38. Gööner In Exile says:

    Bloody hell Spuds sacked Poch!!!

  39. Sue says:

    I wonder who they have lined up….
    I thought Unai was favourite to be axed, not Poch!

  40. That dressing room has been very unhappy for most of this year ……. the Champs Lge Final papered over a lot of cracks.

  41. LB says:

    Do we want Podgy, hmmm, can’t quite work that one out?

  42. Oh god, what if Kane and Dele wanted to come with …… I think it’s best he goes elsewhere and takes whoever he wants with him.

  43. LB says:

    Ooooow, Dele makes my skin crawl.

  44. LB says:

    We don’t need Kane

  45. Sue says:

    I can imagine their dressing room has been very unhappy this season… who’d be happy seeing Kane and Alli getting their kit off 🤢 urgh!!

  46. LB says:

    Oooow, not nice.

  47. RockyLives says:

    Seems like Maureen is angling for the Spuds job.

    I have mixed feelings. He’d probably do well there for a while before the whole thing blows up in classic Maureen style.

  48. LB says:

    That would be such a great fire work display.

  49. RockyLives says:

    I suspect the Spuds will continue to have limited cash for buying new players (unless they sell Kane) because of the costs of building the world’s biggest bog, so there’s an immediate problem there if Maureen gets the job. He always likes to splash the cash.

  50. Sue says:

    Aww Wrighty & Roman 😍😍

  51. Gööner In Exile says:

    I actually spoke to a couple of Spuds fans who a month ago said they wanted Maureen, as they in their words “just want to win something”.

    That in my view is exactly the kind of thinking I expect from Spudders. But they are welcome to dream. Poch was their best chance while Levy and the stadium are their limiting factors.

    My guess is that 62000 seater stadium will become more of a chain around their neck than the Emirates was to us. Levy will cash in on Kane (United or overseas) and others will be sold off too.

    As much as the lack of signings probably affects the squad, Poch has pretty much the same squad as last year, and if the Board are watching others with on paper lesser squads get better results then they’ve made the only sensible decision, assuming they haven’t the budget to spend and Poch is demanding spending.

  52. Gööner In Exile says:

    And Maureen is back should have a sweepstake on which will be his Mata, Pogba….this time around.

    My bet Alli or Erikksen.

  53. I’d put money on Alli

  54. LB says:

    Definitely Alli

    Mourinho without money, this should be interesting.

  55. LB says:

    At least we won’t see him on our doorstep

    Brrrrrr, perish the thought……..

  56. LB says:

    Anyway on the plus side we can really ramp up our dislike of Mourinho now. lol

  57. Sue says:

    2 things I can’t stand – the spuds & Maureen!! A match made in heaven?! 😜

  58. We have a New Post ……………..

  59. GoonerB says:

    View 1:

    Maureen will do a (in recent years) typical Maureen and demand huge transfer fees, throw his toys out of the pram when he doesn’t get them, upset and alienate key players left right and centre, and eventually engineer his exit from the club at huge cost leaving said club with a big mess to sort out.

    View 2:

    He has reflected on recent tenures and mistakes made and will come in a rejuvenated Maureen more akin to his Porto and early Chelsea stints, but bring all that organisation and knowledge and winning mentality to our bitterest rivals.

    It seems everyone is banking on view 1, and I must be the only one that is highly uneasy about this. Although I didn’t fancy him at Arsenal myself I really didn’t want him at the Spuds either. Whatever we think about him and his recent less successful stints, he still has a track record that could see him elevate our bitter rivals from down the road to another level, a trophy winning level.

    At the same time where are we really heading at the moment? That little shot in the arm and renewed hope with our summer transfer dealings seems to have dropped like Harry Kane in the penalty box. We have a manager who is almost 80 games in charge now and what progress have we seen in our playing style and performances.
    The stats with shots on goal and shots on target is appalling for a manager almost 80 games in charge.

    It seems that things weren’t right behind the scenes with Poccetinho and the relationship with the players had been strained. Over here we haven’t seen progress after almost 80 games in charge with this extra, somewhat mythical, more time being touted as all that is required. Rumours of rifts with players and with key players refusing to sign contract extensions at present. How stable do we look right now?

    If we stick as we are which manager and which club do we really think will be looking stronger as this season progresses? I really hope you guys are right and that it will end up another Mourinho car crash, but I just have a horrible gut feeling this could be wishful thinking and it will go the other way.

    Oh and by the way sorry for being rather negative about it 🙂

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