Arsenal forward Eddie Nketiah has admitted that Granit Xhaka will be missed at the club following his departure. He added that the Swiss international was an important figure on and off the pitch for the Gunners.
Xhaka left Arsenal this summer for Bayer Leverkusen after seven seasons at the Emirates. The 30-year-old played 297 matches for the Gunners and had an ever-changing relationship with the fans.
Speaking to the media after the 1-1 draw in the first pre-season game of the season, Nketiah claimed that Xhaka was going to be a big miss for the Gunners. He heaped praise on the former club captain and said:
"What a guy, a big miss for the club. He had a fantastic season last year. You see a lot of what he does on the pitch but off the pitch he's so important for all of us. He gives us a lot of confidence. He is a really good and honest guy. We wish him nothing but the best in Germany."
Nketiah also faces an uncertain future at the Emirates with reports claiming interest from West Ham United, Crystal Palace, and Brighton & Hove Albion.
Granit Xhaka bids emotional goodbye to Arsenal
Granit Xhaka joined Bayer Leverkusen earlier this month after spending seven seasons at Arsenal. The Bundesliga side agreed to a €25 million fee to sign the 30-year-old, who was close to leaving for AS Roma last summer.
Taking to Instagram after the exit, Xhaka wrote an emotional message for the club's fans. He said:
"Gunners, it's been some journey - and all that's left is for me to say thank you. I've spent seven years at Arsenal. The club has become such an important part of my life - and it's not easy to leave. But now is the right time for a new adventure."
"There are so many people I need to thank - the managers I played for, all my team-mates and the staff behind the scenes. And I especially want to thank all of you. Everyone knows we've been through some tough times. But we came through them together - and I'll never ever forget the feeling I had each time we won the FA Cup or whenever I heard you singing my name."
Arsenal have signed Kai Havertz this summer and are in talks to get Jurrien Timbers and Declan Rice. Reports claims both deals have been agreed and should be completed soon.