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Xhaka ready to fight for Arsenal future

Omnisport
NEWS
News
10 Nov 2019, 17:46 IST
granit xhaka - cropped
Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka

Granit Xhaka has vowed to "keep fighting" at Arsenal amid rumours the club will look to sell him in January.

The Switzerland international has missed four matches and been stripped of the club captaincy following his angry response to being jeered by Gunners supporters during the draw with Crystal Palace in October.

Xhaka elected to skip Saturday's loss to Leicester City, according to Emery, and Arsenal's head coach has admitted to not knowing whether the midfielder will play for the club again.

However, the 27-year-old has now suggested he is prepared to re-enter the first-team fold in a bid to prolong his stay in north London.

"You can be sure that I'll keep fighting and putting myself out there in every training session," Xhaka told Swiss newspaper Blick.

"I feel that last week has been dealt with and I'm ready."

Several former Arsenal players, including Ian Wright and Emmanuel Petit, were critical of Xhaka for openly showing annoyance with how his substitution was received in the Palace match.

"You could say things have been a bit frantic," he said of the fallout.

"Last week in particular was a very special [and] emotional experience for me. But I'm doing very well again, I've trained well this week and am looking forward to my next assignments. In the club and of course on the national team."

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Xhaka's statement in the aftermath of the outburst detailed how abusive comments he received on social media and at matches contributed to his behaviour.

While prepared to listen to criticism, the maligned former Borussia Monchengladbach man believes the flak he faced at Emirates Stadium "makes no sense" and only "weakens the team's spirit".

"When my shirt number lit up on the fourth official's panel and our own fans broke into gleeful jubilation, that hit me very hard and really upset me. It was very hurtful and frustrating," he said.

"I can't understand a reaction like that even now, especially the vehemence of it and the extreme hostility directed against me."

He continued: "Their criticism, when it's fair, makes you grow as an athlete, and the power and energy that they contribute to the game makes every athlete love football even more. I feel like I'm part of a big football family.

"But at a time [when] you are already experiencing a lot of hostility and your own football family insults you, it hurts a lot."

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