This afternoon a member of Granit Xhaka’s entourage posted pictures of the Swiss being photographed at London Colney ahead of Arsenal officially confirming his signing.
The noises from his camp now suggest the 23-year-old has been given Francis Coquelin’s number 34 shirt by the Gunners – the number he’s worn at both Basel and Borussia Moenchengladbach.
It’s a development that Xhaka actually hinted at as far back as January. Speaking to German publication Tor Fabrik, the midfielder joked:
“That  was my first professional number at Basel. It’s even tattooed on my back. I would also like to wear it in the future.”
“It was also here in Gladbach, with Amin Younes [who had the number before Xhaka]. And at Arsenal Coquelin has it. I’ve spoken with him, he would like to take another number!”
So what number will Coquelin take? Well, according to a tweet from the same chap who posted this morning’s leaked pics, Le Coq will inherit Mikel Arteta’s number 8 shirt.
Cech – 1
Alexis – 7
Coquelin – 8
Granit Xhaka – 34
— Valon Demiri (@CheValon1) May 21, 2016
And there are other changes as well. Petr Cech’s status as first choice keeper will be consolidated by the Czech taking the number 1 shirt from Wojciech Szczesny and Alexis Sanchez will wear 7, the number held by Tomas Rosicky for a decade.
We can’t vouch for the leak, but there’s little reason to lie about such a thing. All the same, we’ll go with a 4 on the poo-o-meter.