Granit Xhaka has had an impressive career turnaround in recent months, and Mikel Arteta thinks that his revival can serve as a lesson for Mesut Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi.
Xhaka had been on the verge of leaving the Emirates in the last transfer window after he fell out with the club’s fans.
The Swiss midfielder was stripped of the club’s captaincy and it appeared that there would be no way back for him. However, when Arteta became the club’s manager, he convinced him to remain with the Gunners and that he was an important part of his first-team plans.
Xhaka has now turned his Arsenal career around by showing good leadership on the field and putting in some of the finest performances among all the Arsenal players this season.
Ozil and Guendouzi have struggled to feature since the restart and Arteta has told them that they can find their way back into the picture, just like Xhaka did.
“The challenge with Granit was to convince him that there was still a place for him here – that I had big belief in him and that things can turn around pretty quickly in this industry,” Arteta told reporters via Goal.com ahead of Tuesday’s Premier League clash with Aston Villa.
“He had to send the right messages. First of all, he had to believe that he could do it and if that was the case, we were going to support him all the way through.
“I’m really glad to hear and sense the reaction from the fans towards him, I think they can appreciate what he’s done. That’s in the past, there’s a lot of positives to take from difficult situations and we all learn from that.
“He’s a really good example for any player that is in a difficult moment that if you are willing, consistent and really want to do it generally, I think there’s always a way back.”
Asked whether Xhaka could be considered an example for those two in particular, Arteta replied: “That applies for any player, and any member of the staff.
“If you really show that then you’re deciding to do the best, not for yourself, but for the team and for the club, I think everybody will welcome you.
“It’s not just me that has to give the green light. It’s everybody that has to be supportive and you need to feel as well that support from everybody because if not it’s a very uncomfortable situation.”