This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
Arsenal are set to use Granit Xhaka as bait to sign Denis Zakaria from Borussia Monchengladbach, as reported by The Mirror.
Xhaka has not played for Arsenal in the three games since he reacted to being booed by Gunners fans when being substituted against Crystal Palace.
Having been stripped of the club captaincy and replaced by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the 27-year-old put in a masterclass performance for Switzerland against Georgia, however, that won’t bother many at the Emirates, as he is unlikely to represent the club again.
Use has now been found for the Switzerland international, as the Gunners are looking to utilise him as bait to bring countryman Zakaria to north London. Any deal would depend on Arsenal having first refusal on the midfielder if the German outfit decide to cash in next summer.
Xhaka would likely be very pleased with this deal, as it would allow him to go back to a club he has already played for 140 times for.
From Monchengladbach’s point of view, they are currently top of the Bundesliga table, so will be looking for players they know can be relied upon to help maintain that position, with Xhaka surely fitting this profile, having already represented them so many times.
In addition, they would not be losing Zakaria this season as part of the deal, so the 22-year-old would be able to continue leading their charge from midfield.
The Gunners would also do well to get the Switzerland international out of the deal, as he has averaged 2.4 tackles, 1.5 interceptions and 2.1 dribbles per game, completing 84.2% of his attempted passes – indicating how useful he can be both on and off the ball.
Zakaria could be seen as a beneficiary of this deal as well, as it would allow him to take the step up to the Premier League.
If the deal does come off, it could see all parties involved in it come out better off.