The Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka is definitely a ‘Marmite’ player when discussed by Gooners, especially since he was stripped of his captaincy a couple of years ago after giving Arsenal fans ‘the bird’.
He was also dropped by Unai Emery and he was scheduled to leave the Emirates before Mikel Arteta took over and persuaded the Swiss international to stay and fight for his place back in the team.
Xhaka did stay, and is now one of the first names on Arteta’s team sheet when he is fit enough to play, and he believes that Aubameyang can do the same thing when he returns to the squad. Xhaka told the Athletic: “I have been in this situation and know how Auba is feeling.
“Mine is a different story with different problems but maybe sometimes this is not a step back but a step forward.
“I think Auba is strong enough and has enough experience to come back and be better than before.
“It doesn’t have to bring you down. You have to be positive and believe you can turn it around. And I believe Auba can do that.”
Xhaka also admits that he thinks that the ‘Group of Captains’ is a far more modern way to run the team, and of course Arteta regards him to be in that bracket: “The idea of a captain and vice-captain is old school. I don’t believe it’s enough to have only two or three leaders in the squad.
“It’s much better if you involve more players in the leadership group because everyone brings a different opinion.
“Alex Lacazette is our captain and at the moment he is the right man. He’s a very important person on and off the pitch.
“He’s a lovely boy, he has a lot of respect from the other players and a lot of experience. You need a player like this.”
So, our ex-outcast is backing Auba to come back stronger. Do you think the Gabon hitman can even win back his place in the team when he returns from AFCON?