In a recent interview with the Swiss newspaper Blick (via ESPN), Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka revealed that he is ready to return to the playing field when he said, “I feel that [the incident] has been dealt with and I’m ready [to return].
“If the team and I don’t play well, we have to listen and work on it. But insulting and swearing at your own captain will cause upset and a bad atmosphere for the team you are actually supposed to be supporting.
“That makes no sense to me and weakens the team’s spirit.
“Their criticism, when it’s fair, makes you grow as an athlete. But at a time you are already experiencing a lot of hostility and your own football family insults you, it hurts a lot.
“Let’s face it, we’re talking about football and a captaincy. I know that means the world to a lot of people here in London. But we’re at a point now where I have to say clearly that we ought to take stock and make sure that things are not getting completely out of hand.”
Xhaka’s Poor Form At North London This Season
It seems like the Swiss international has gone out of his way to be critical about the club’s fans and their treatment of him. Most of the Arsenal supporters have given up on him after he put in a run of underwhelming displays for the Gunners this season. The 27-year-old has featured in 10 matches for the North London outfit this term and has got one assist to his name in all competitions.
In the Premier League, Xhaka has averaged 2.0 tackles, 0.4 interceptions and 1.9 clearances per game so far (stats via whoscored). However, he has also been guilty of making a string of poor errors at the back during this campaign.
The former Basel youngster is vastly experienced at the international level having played in 78 matches for Switzerland thus far. He has scored 11 goals in the process and is now preparing himself to play for his country in a Euro 2020 qualifier versus Georgia on Friday.
Should Emery Allow Xhaka To Play For Arsenal Again?
Xhaka has proven time and again that he is too slow for English football as evidenced by some of the defensive mistakes that he has committed over the past couple of seasons. However, he could now choose to kick-start his career away from north London where the spotlight won’t be on him.
The Swiss international seems to be slowing down with each season, and unfortunately, most of the Arsenal supporters do not trust him anymore. Unai Emery will now have to take a massive decision over whether to use Xhaka in his first-team in the coming weeks or bench him until the transfer reopens in January.
Either way, Xhaka needs to move on in search of greener pastures as it feels like he has overstayed his welcome at the Emirates Stadium.
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