Granit Xhaka has spoken about his relationship with the Arsenal fanbase, insisting that things are improving on that front.
The Swiss international was made the club captain by Unai Emery in the summer of 2019, replacing the departed Laurent Koscielny, but his time in the role was short-lived in October of the same year when he reacted angrily to the fans chants.
He seems to have come close to leaving the club more than once since, in the first window after the initial spat with the crowd and in the most recent summer window, but manager Mikel Arteta has convinced him to stay on both occasions.
We currently have no permanent captain after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s removal from the role, and Xhaka may well see himself as a contender to return to the armband, telling The Athletic that he believes his relationship has with the club has improved, telling them that he will always give his all at the Emirates also.
“After what happened two years ago we were very far from each other. I think we are step by step coming closer and closer,” he stated.
“I don’t believe we will be best friends. But what I can tell people is from the first day until the last day I am here I will do everything for the football club.
“I will make mistakes because everyone does. We are not perfect. But I will give 100 per cent in every training session and every game. This is my message to the fans.
“Sometimes you have misunderstandings and I believe this was the only reason for the problem we had between us. I feel much more love than one or two years ago but it is a slow process we have to do with each other.”
It sounds to me as if he believes now would be a good time to bury the hatchet with the fans, and the timing tells me he could well see himself taking over as captain once again.
He has worn the armband this term already, and many of our fans have overcome their previous hatred of him, but I don’t personally see him as our next permanent captain.
I would take Gabriel Magalhaes or Kieran Tierney personally, although Aaron Ramsdale is also a leader within our side at present also.
Would there be uproar if Xhaka was made captain again?
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