Newcastle were linked with a shock January move for outcast Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka on Friday, with the player having fallen out with the Arsenal fans recently.

The situation for Xhaka at the Emirates looks almost untenable, with a move away being the likely outcome for him, particularly as he will want to be playing, with the European Championships looming, should Switzerland qualify from a tight group.

(Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

If he was to make the surprise move to Newcastle, he would be be swapping a pressure-cooker situation in London, for another one on Tyneside.

It is different pressure, of course, but it would still need to be handled by the player, who could actually use his Arsenal situation to help him at St James’ Park.

Arsenal fans expect to have a winning side. A team that is annually qualifying for the Champions League, and winning trophies.

(Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Newcastle fans just want a team that gives everything for the shirt, and while they want a winning side, they do not expect to achieve the success their Gunners counterparts do.

Newcastle would represent another challenge for Xhaka

But there is more pressure in other areas at Newcastle too. Anger at the owner exists at both clubs, but the level of derision towards Mike Ashley, is on a different level to that at Arsenal.


It is the same with the disillusionment towards the manager, with Steve Bruce always seemingly a couple of defeats away from the crowd turning on him.

(Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

So with all the built up animosity and frustration, it is during 90 minutes on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon where fans get to vent those feelings loudly.

So it is often the players, who are backed as long as they are producing the goods on the pitch, who have to listen to the less than positive chants.

If he could use the experience of the last couple of weeks at Arsenal, and the regret he has expressed in the aftermath, it could help him deal with the pressure of playing at Newcastle, where everything to do with the football club is magnified.

He would undoubtedly be a great asset to the team, and the fans will love him if he arrives. But if he behaves at Newcastle, the way he did at Arsenal, he will not last five minutes.

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