Arteta: ‘Xhaka will stay at Arsenal’

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has confirmed that Granit Xhaka will stay at the club next season while Thomas Partey will have a scan today.

Arteta was speaking after The Gunners slipped to a narrow 2-1 defeat to Chelsea in a pre-season friendly which saw the return of several players and a debut for Ben White.

Xhaka opened the scoring but Partey limped off with a suspected ankle injury that didn’t look too good:

“First of all, it was a great atmosphere. The fans were right behind the team and I think with 20 or 25,000, they created a great atmosphere at the stadium. It was a great test for us against the best team in Europe. I think we showed some really positive stuff and some worrying stuff when we gave the ball away in difficult positions, and when we had to do defensive organisation, it opened spaces in difficult moments. For what we could do against that team and where we are in pre-season, I think it was positive.

Granit is going to stay with us. He’s a player that we rate and value so much, he’s a key member of our squad. He’s trained two days. He wanted to play today and I think it’s very clear commitment from his side that he wants to be here.

Bellerin? I don’t know. I’m going to coach them and train them, and respect and look after everybody because they are our players. Hopefully they can have their minds here and prepare here because they are Arsenal players and our job is to make them as good as we can.

Gabriel? We don’t know [whether he will be available for Brentford]. He’s still injured. He picked up and injury while he was doing the preparation for the Olympics with Brazil and at the moment he’s not been able to train with us. That seems unlikely at the moment but hopefully he can recover quickly.

Saka is back very soon. He needed some holidays, he needed to be away. He had an incredibly busy year and he will be back with us in the next few days. We’re looking forward to seeing him.

The goal? It worries me because when you give the ball away when you’re in the position we’re in, in one or two passes they can attack your goal. It’s a really difficult situation to resolve. From those situations as well, we created many chances today. We need to know when to take the risk. It’s more about the perception and interpreting the players that we have to use in certain areas more than the actual action. But you know that against these teams, they punish you in the Premier League.”

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