Granit Xhaka’s new Arsenal contract has been confirmed in rather bizarre fashion, through a statement from the owners in a matchday programme.

Granit Xhaka celebrates after he scores to make it 1-1 during the Pre Season Friendly match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture credit should read: Paul Terry / Sportimage
Granit Xhaka celebrates after he scores to make it 1-1 during the Pre Season Friendly match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture: Paul Terry / Sportimage

Granit Xhaka’s new Arsenal contract isn’t exactly a secret, with plenty of reports confirming it was close, before one or two reported it was done earlier this week.

But we didn’t have any official confirmation from Arsenal’s end, at least until the matchday programme for the Chelsea game was released. In the programme, Arsenal owners KSE posted a statement which included a mention of the new deal for Xhaka.

After listing the group of summer signings, the statement added: “We have also renewed the deals of Kieran Tierney and Emile Smith Rowe, both on a long-term basis. These are all young players that we are convinced can develop further and have a bright future with us.

“They are supported by a strong group of more experienced players including Granit Xhaka, who has signed an extended contract. This is an important step in terms of maintaining balance and stability in the squad.”

Presumably, we’re still going to get an announcement from Arsenal at some stage, but for now we’ll have to settle for this rather unconventional way of breaking the news.

Speaking ahead of the Chelsea game, Mikel Arteta claimed Arsenal never actually wanted to sell Xhaka, and they convinced him he has an important part to play for his current side.

Reports suggest Xhaka was always happy to stay at Arsenal, even if he was aware of the Roma interest and clearly willing to go there if the two clubs reached an agreement. It didn’t pan out that way, and the Swiss international is set to stay.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.