Granit Xhaka has been a revolution at Bayer Leverkusen.

5 former Arsenal players who are currently thriving away from the Emirates

Arsenal have a litany of former players at other clubs and a handful of them are currently living their best lives since leaving the Emirates.

As Mikel Arteta’s team challenge for the Premier League title, several of their former players are also enjoying good seasons.

We’ve identified five former Arsenal stars who are currently loving life since leaving the club.

Granit Xhaka

Xhaka turned in a number of fine performances for Arsenal last season, managing to rebuild his damaged reputation with the supporters, but there was a sense that his departure was necessary to allow Arteta’s side to evolve.

The Switzerland international signed for Bayer Leverkusen and has enjoyed a fine start to life in Germany. Leverkusen are currently top of the Bundesliga and haven’t lost a game in any competition. Xhaka has made 23 appearances to date.

“I’m different,” he told The Athletic. “My mentality is completely different. I’m much calmer. Much, much calmer.

“There’s much more clarity and deliberation in my game. I know when to push and I know when to fall back, I know when to speed up the game and when to slow it down.

“When I was younger, there were many yellow and red cards, it was the same at the beginning in England. Experience teaches you that you don’t always have to go for the risky tackle.

“You can keep running with the player, you don’t have to go down all the time. I’ve made a huge step forward in the way I approach games.”

Emiliano Martinez

After arriving at Arsenal in 2010, and spending years out on loan, Martinez eventually emerged to feature for the Gunners in the latter half of the 2010s – the highlight being his starring role in the Gunners’ 2020 FA Cup triumph.

Now 31, Martinez is one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League at title-chasing Aston Villa and played a starring role in Argentina’s World Cup success last year.

Arteta could’ve saved himself a headache by sticking with Martinez back in 2020.

Bernd Leno

Leno made over 100 appearances for Arsenal across his four years with the club. The German goalkeeper was the established number one, until Aaron Ramsdale’s arrival in 2021–22.

Sensing that his first team opportunities were going to be limited under Arteta, he made the move to Fulham in 2022 and hasn’t looked back since.

Last season, he prevented nine goals in the Premier League for Fulham, a stat which was only bettered by Alisson in the previous campaign. He’s come on leaps and bounds since leaving the Emirates.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

After flopping at Chelsea, Aubameyang has belatedly got himself back among the goals since moving to Marseille during the summer.

Despite a slow start to his career in France, the striker has scored 12 times in 24 appearances for his new club. That tally includes seven in European competitions, as Marseille progressed through their Europa League group, and he also has seven assists.

“Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is an international level player,” club president Pablo Longoria told RMC Sport in September. “Can he improve his finishing? Yes, we must be self-critical and we must always live in reality.

“But is this going to happen? I’m sure of it, particularly because I see how he works on a daily basis, I see the level of commitment he has, and I see how much the coach believes in his potential.”

It’s safe to say that Longoria’s faith has been repaid.

Yunus Musah

Arsenal will be kicking themselves for letting Musah go so easily in 2019.

The USA international spent three seasons playing regularly in La Liga after being picked up by Valencia and is currently enjoying his time at AC Milan.

Musah has become a favourite under boss Stefano Pioli and would be worth tens of millions in the current market.

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