Granit Xhaka has already changed his shirt number at Arsenal

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Granit Xhaka has only been an Arsenal player for a week but the Swiss midfielder has already had two shirt numbers with the club.

Shortly after his £30million arrival from Borussia Monchengladbach was confirmed, Arsenal's Twitter account announced that he would take the No.16 shirt.

Of course, it wasn't the number he truly desired. Since first becoming a professional, Xhaka has had the No.34 on his back. He loves that number so much, he even got it tattooed on the back of his neck.


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But Francis Coquelin currently has that number at the Emirates and few people would be brave enough to try and prise it away from him, so the No.16 seemed like a natural fit. It had just been vacated by another midfielder, Aaron Ramsey, who had moved to the No.8 shirt that had belonged to Mikel Arteta.

It seems, however, that Xhaka has since had a change of heart and has instead decided to change his shirt number to, wait for it, the No.29. Why has he chosen that number, I hear you ask? What a silly question. It is because he was born in 1992 and 29 is the reverse of that...obviously.

Why didn't he just chose the No.92? Because that's a ridiculous number for a Premier League footballer to have on his shirt.

Stop the presses

It is bad news for the hundreds, if not thousands, of Arsenal fans who have already rushed to the shops to purchase a brand new kit with 'Xhaka 16' on the back.

On that unfortunate situation, Arsenal confirmed: "We had previously announced he would be wearing No 16. Supporters who ordered shirts with his name and the original number in Arsenal stores will have their shirts automatically printed with the new number.

"We apologise for any inconvenience this causes but hope our supporters understand the special circumstances on this occasion."

Why he joined

There will be a lot of expectation on Xhaka's shoulders heading into the new campaign with Arsenal fans hoping for a much stronger Premier League title challenge than they managed last time around.

But it is not the chance to win major trophies that convinced the Switzerland international to move to north London, as he explained in his first interview after joining.

"Johan and Philippe have only told me positive things."

“I spoke with Havard Nordtveit about Arsenal and he told me it’s a big club, a family club and it’s very important for me to come here,” Xhaka told

"Philippe played here and I play with him in the national team. Johan and Philippe have only told me positive things.

“Arsenal is Arsenal. It’s not a small club, it’s a very big club and it’s like a family. It’s very good for me because I love my family and to have another family here is very good."

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