Kosovo were recently recognised as a footballing nation and the Gunners supporters there are desperate for the midfielder to switch his allegiance
Arsenal fans in Kosovo have written an open letter to Granit Xhaka in a bid to persuade him to represent their country at international level.
Kosovo, who have several eligible players based in the Premier League, can enter the 2018 World Cup after being accepted as members of world governing body FIFA in May.
According to reports in the Kosovar media, national team manager Albert Bunjaku is speaking with players including Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City), Valon Behrami (Watford), Shani Tarashaj (Everton) as well as Manchester United’s Adnan Januzaj who has been capped for Belgium.
Vitesse winger Milot Rashica recently left the Albanian national team to declare for Kosovo and Manchester City youngsters Bersant Celina and Sinan Bytygi have also chosen to play for the country where they originate from.
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Xhaka’s older brother Taulant currently plays for Albania but recently said he has no plans to change alleigances, at least for the time being, with Kosovo facing a tricky 2018 World Cup qualification where they will meet with Croatia, Ukraine, Turkey, Iceland and Finland.
Their open letter in full:
“An open letter to Granit Xhaka
At a stage when Kosovo’s national football team is consolidating itself, we as Kosovo’s Arsenal Fan Club would like to call upon our Arsenal star Granit Xhaka to accept Kosovo’s offer to become part of the national team.
Kosovo’s football has been through so many challenges, having lived under isolation for as many as 30 years. We have been able to keep it alive despite being occupied and severe infrastructural and weather conditions, whilst dreaming for 30 consecutive years to have a national team which we could create.
While older generations were forced to move abroad and raise their children in a foreign country to later turn them into professional footballers, others here have not quite been able to develop their potential and talent.
We acknowledge it is their families who should get the credit they deserve for inspiring their children and working hard with them to make them world class footballers.
As much as we appreciate what countries like Switzerland have done to raise our children, we want them back as we need them.
Kosovo needs the likes of Granit Xhaka.
Granit, it is high time for you to become an idol Kosovo-wide, a living hero.
Playing for Kosovo’s national team you might not benefit materially as much as you would playing for Switzerland, but you would win something much more valuable and significant; our hearts.
Granit, please say ‘YES TO KOSOVO’
Make your nation and people proud.
Arsenal Kosovo Supporters Club”