• June 7, 2023
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According to journalist Florian Plettenberg’s recent update on Twitter, Arsenal is on the verge of transferring Granit Xhaka to Bayer Leverkusen. However, the completion of the deal is contingent upon Arsenal successfully securing a suitable replacement for the Swiss midfielder.

Plettenberg’s tweet suggests that while Xhaka remains eager to join Bayer Leverkusen, the progress of the transfer has temporarily stalled as Arsenal focuses on finding an adequate successor for the midfield position.

The journalist also revealed three potential candidates mentioned as Xhaka’s replacements: Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan, Brighton’s Moises Caicedo, and West Ham United’s Declan Rice.

Although Arsenal faces competition from other clubs interested in these players, they will need to act swiftly and outmaneuver their rivals to secure the desired replacement at the Emirates Stadium during the summer transfer window.

Among the three mentioned options, Ilkay Gundogan emerges as the most fitting like-for-like replacement for Xhaka. While Xhaka primarily operates as a defensive midfielder, his recent performances in a box-to-box role have showcased his versatility and impact.

Of the trio, Gundogan, despite being the oldest at 32 years of age, possesses the experience and skill set to seamlessly fill the void left by Xhaka. While Caicedo and Rice have potential in the box-to-box role, they have yet to prove themselves in that specific position.

In addition to his suitability, Gundogan may also be the most cost-effective option for Arsenal. While Caicedo and Rice carry hefty price tags set by their respective clubs, Gundogan could potentially become available on a free transfer if Manchester City fails to secure a new contract with him.

As Arsenal navigates the transfer market and works toward finalizing Xhaka’s move, all eyes will be on the club’s efforts to secure a quality replacement, with Gundogan emerging as the leading candidate to step into the midfield role at the Emirates.