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Arsenal star explains reasons for unusual number change

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has revealed the reasons why he has taken the unusual choice of switching his shirt number from the No.29 to the No.34 next season.

Yesterday’s news may have been dominated by the imminent arrival of Spanish coach Unai Emery, as per BBC Sport, however there were some new squad numbers announced by the club – indicating some players could be staying at the club beyond this summer.

READ MORE: Who is Unai Emery? Background and career honours as Spaniard closes in on Arsenal job

The Swiss international donned the No.34 at previous club Borussia Mönchengladbach and takes the number that was vacated by Francis Coquelin after the Frenchman’s move to Valencia.

Speaking to Arsenal’s official website the Swiss international has now explained his choice and the number holds significance in the Xhaka family.

He said: “The number 34 has a big significant for me. It was my first number as a professional and it’s always brought me luck. I’ve even got the number tattooed on my back and on my arm.

“My brother (Taulant) wears No.34 too and when I left Basel, he took the shirt straight away, so it’s a pretty important number in our family.”

Other players to change numbers were Hector Bellerin, Petr Cech and Mohamed Elneny.

New Arsenal squad numbers confirmed

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