So I now have another chance to gloat about being the only one that was convinced that Granit Xhaka would not be leaving Arsenal this summer, as Mikel Arteta has now spoken out on how important the Switzerland captain is to his plans and the fact that he had no intention of selling him.
Arteta also touched on the fact that the fans don’t see what goes on at the club, and don’t understand the importance of Xhaka inside the dressing room as well as on the pitch.
He told the Metro: ‘We never wanted to let him go. We explained to him the role he would have in the team, how important he was and how far he has come in the last two seasons.
‘And the fact that he has come through some difficult moments and how he has reacted and achieved and the respect he has gained, not only on the field, but around the club and in that dressing room.
‘We believe that he was a really important figure and we need players like that for the development of the young players we have.
‘It’s difficult because you don’t get to see much of what happens inside.
‘People just analyse a performance or a way of a player playing and whether you like him more or less. But from our side there is no doubting his importance in the team and squad.’
From experience, I know that many JustArsenal readers will still insult Xhaka at every chance, but surely we have always known he is one of the leaders at the club. He wasn’t voted to be captain by the playes for nothing…
But no matter what you think of him as a man, how can Arsenal fans ignore the stats that show he is our most consistent midfielder for the last two seasons. I will say that the truth will be in the pudding, but can we just get behind him this season, like Arteta and the players fully intend to?