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Xhaka: We must win Europa League for Arsenal



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By Boluwatife Ezekiel Olaleye
Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has challenged his team-mates to win the Europa League as a “special” gift for departing boss Arsene Wenger.
Wenger called time on his 22-year spell in charge of Arsenal on Friday by announcing his intention to step down from his current role at the end of the season.
The Gunners host Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday and Xhaka believes winning the competition would a fitting send-off for the long-serving Frenchman.
“We have one month together now and we want to give him something special in this month. We want to take the trophy for him, for us, for the fans,” said Xhaka.
“Everybody knows what he has done for 22 years for Arsenal.
“We know as players if we have good results then nobody speaks about the boss but that is football, that is life, we must accept it going forward.”
When asked if he believed Wenger will continue his managerial career elsewhere, Xhaka said: “I hope so.
“Everybody knows his quality, how players he has brought from nothing. I hope he will stay as a manager, we will see what happens.”
Alexandre Lacazette has revealed that the Arsenal squad were “shocked” by Wenger’s announcement, and has echoed Xhaka’s calls for silverware.
“It was strange for us because the players didn’t know,” said the French striker. “He has made his decision, we need to respect it, and we’ll want to give him a lot of pleasure until the end of the season.
“Everybody was shocked because we didn’t expect it but now we are focused on the end of the season because we want to win for him and for the fans.”
Lacazette was signed by Wenger from Lyon in a club-record deal last summer and the France international admits the upcoming change in management leaves his own future uncertain.
“It is strange because it was him who wanted me to come to Arsenal,” said Lacazette. “I signed a long contract but now he has left it will be different. We will see after the season.”

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