Unai Emery spoke at length about Granit Xhaka and if he will be in the squad for Southampton game.
There is no need to go over why Granit Xhaka fell out with the fans. What we do need to know, however, is does he have a future at the club?
Unai Emery has gone some way to answering these questions today at the Arsenal v Southampton pre-match press conference.
Xhaka is said to be in a better state of mind and eager to help the team out. Additionally, Emery is considering including him the matchday squad for the Southampton game.
The following excerpt, courtesy of Arsenal.com, also reveals that he wants to connect with the fans
He is feeling better and also feeling that his team is Arsenal now
“He is coming back better in his mind, his mindset is better to help us and to be closer to playing when we need him,” Emery said. “I spoke to him this morning and we had a very good conversation.
“He trained very well before the international break and he trained very well this morning. My objectives don’t change from when I spoke to you before. My objective is going to be his comeback to help us and convince every supporter of his commitment with us and his performances will be better and they will be proud of him in the short or long future with us. That is my objective, and what I am working towards.
“He is feeling better and also feeling that his team is Arsenal now. He wants to come back with confidence with the supporters, and we are going to decide. But I think little by little we can help him come back and connect with us and our supporters.
“We are going to decide tomorrow [whether he will be in the squad for Saturday]. But I want to do that comeback, give him confidence and make him comfortable. And when we can connect with our supporters with a good moment and a good performance and being strong with them.”
I did suspect that Xhaka would be back sooner than thought, in fact, I have predicted he will be in the starting eleven for the Saints game.
However, reading between the lines it looks more likely that he will be a substitute at best.
Personally, I would welcome him back. I believe he is a good player and can contribute. I certainly think he is better than most of our midfielders.
He messed up but he should be given a second chance in my opinion. I will definitely give him my full support if he pulls the Arsenal shirt on once again.
Hopefully, the majority of Arsenal fans will feel the same. There is too much division as it is and we need to be united from now on.