Xhaka admits Aubameyang transfer exit would be a ‘great loss’ to Arsenal and hails Ozil’s work ethic

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GRANIT XHAKA admits Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leaving would be a “great loss” for Arsenal – and has hit back at Mesut Ozil’s critics.

Real Madrid, Manchester United and, most persistently, Barcelona have all been linked with striker Aubameyang, who replaced Xhaka as Gunners skipper last November.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Co turned up for the return of training, with Granit Xhaka keen for the striker to stay
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Co turned up for the return of training, with Granit Xhaka keen for the striker to stay
Reuters
Mesut Ozil has been defended by Granit Xhaka after criticism of the German over his attitude and workrate
Mesut Ozil has been defended by Granit Xhaka after criticism of the German over his attitude and workrate
Reuters
Granit Xhaka was also in a procession of cars arriving for training at London Colney this week
Granit Xhaka was also in a procession of cars arriving for training at London Colney this week
EPA
Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Granitt Xhaka are among the Arsenal stars keen to maintain the strong form under Mikel Arteta if the Prem season resumes
Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Granit Xhaka are among the Arsenal stars keen to maintain the strong form under Mikel Arteta if the Prem resumes
Getty Images – Getty

And as Aubameyang enters the final year of his contract, Switzerland midfielder Xhaka knows speculation over the 30-year-old’s future will only increase.

He told SportBild of the Gabon star’s possible departure: “If that were to happen, it would, of course, be a great loss for the team and the club.

“Auba is always dangerous and always good for a goal, and as a guy, he’s also really great.

“He is always positive, optimistic, helpful and very professional.”

He is extremely down-to-earth, always ready to help, and works hard in training. When in form, he can always make the difference.


Granitt Xhaka on Mesut Ozil

But whereas Aubameyang’s displays have met with widespread approval from Arsenal fans, Ozil’s form and even commitment in the past couple of years have received mixed reviews at best

The ex-Germany playmaker enjoyed something of a revival in the last month before the coronavirus pandemic halted football action in March.

But at 31, and topping the club’s age bill on £350,000 a week, he has still been under a harsh microscope.

Xhaka, though, believes Ozil remains a fine example to his team-mates on and off the field.

He said: “I see him here as a very positive, likeable colleague.


“He is an extremely down-to-earth guy, always ready to help, and he works hard in training and in my opinion he really enjoys football.

“When Mesut is in form, he is of course very important to us and can always make the difference.

“We really don’t have to discuss his footballing skills here.”