Granit Xhaka has admitted that he was very close to leaving Arsenal after he fell out with the fans last year.
The midfielder was booed off by Arsenal’s fans in October in their game against Crystal Palace.
He swore at the fans as he left the pitch after being substituted. The event eventually led to him being stripped of the captain’s armband.
He became very unsettled and wanted to leave the club in the January transfer window.
Mikel Arteta was made the club’s manager late last year, and he managed to convince the Swiss star that he has an important role to play at the club and that he was banking on him.
Xhaka didn’t leave, and he has been in fine form for the Spaniard since he became the club’s manager.
He was speaking about that experience recently and said that he was close to leaving after that fallout with the club’s fans.
Xhaka told BT Sport via Mail Online this week: ‘Everyone knows what happened with me and the fans – or the fans with me. It was not a good time. It was not a nice time.
‘But maybe it was the key because I came back stronger than ever so I learned a lot from this situation. I hope the fans have too.
‘I was always saying to myself, but to the fans too, I am a guy that will go 100 per cent each game. The people start to understand me more and more now again.
‘I have to be honest, I’m very honest with everyone. I was very, very close to leaving the club. I have, until this moment, I had a great, great time in this football club.
‘But after this, I was of course a bit down because I did not expect that from the people from the fans.
‘It was never in my mind to leave the club before, but after this happened, of course you think about it.’