“It was clear” Former Arsenal star Granit Xhaka reveals one key reason why he left

Granit Xhaka left Arsenal at the end of the 2023/24 season, after the best campaign of his lift. But why? Well, the Swiss international has revealed all...

Arsenal FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
Arsenal FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Despite finishing the season empty-handed, the 2022/23 season was a memorable one. After years of mediocrity, the crop of Arsenal players finally proved why they should be considered amongst the big dogs. They pushed Manchester City right to the end of the Premier League race, with Granit Xhaka's midfield turnaround proving to be a deciding factor.

For those who aren't familiar with Granit Xhaka's story, a few seasons prior to his last in an Arsenal shirt, it was doubted whether he'd ever play again. This is because, under Unai Emery, Granit Xhaka was the captain for a short period but he is known as the worst captain in history, since he swore at the fans after being subbed off.

Understandably, fans were fuming with Xhaka and he was stripped of his captaincy. Fast forward a few seasons, though, and Xhaka had won back the love of the Emirates faithful due to his impressive turnaround under Mikel Arteta. It was to be his final season in an Arsenal shirt, ultimately.

“It was clear” Former Arsenal star Granit Xhaka reveals one key reason why he left

According to Blick, there is one key reason why Granit Xhaka left Arsenal. Ultimately, the player had the final say as he wanted the move to Bayer Leverkusen, despite those around him campaigning for him to complete his Arsenal legacy.

In his own words, Granit Xhaka said: "There were people who were against it, but it was clear to me that I would do it. My wife was initially against it. It was written that she was the reason why I wanted to come back to Germany, but that wasn’t the case.

“The football there was world class, the people were great, the city was very beautiful, but as a person and as a player I wanted a new challenge. And I can’t help it if Leverkusen is close to my wife’s hometown.”

Granit Xhaka's wife, Leonita, was devoted to Arsenal. She became a fan of the club and the fanbase welcomed her with open arms. She was constantly spotted at the Emirates Stadium, supporting not just her husband but Arsenal as a club. The blaming of her from the media is completely unjust, so it's great to see Granit confessing the reason he left - As heartbreaking as it is for Arsenal fans.

Although Xhaka didn't have a great period with the armband, he demonstrated in his later time at Arsenal why he is a natural born leader. Arsenal fans would love to welcome him back to the club in a higher role sometime down the line but for now, they will cheer him on in the Bundesliga run-in.


What was your favourite Granit Xhaka memory?