Granit Xhaka has had his ups and downs with theArsenal fans, to say the least, but he has always had the respect of his peers in the dressing room, which is why he was voted to be the captain by his team-mates when Unai Emery took over as coach.
He was deposed from that position by Emery after his altercation with Arsenal fans, and it looked like he was set to leave the Emirates until Arteta took over and persuaded him that he still had an important role to play.
And, to be fair, even the fans seem to have relented from their criticism and he is mostly appreciated for his contributions on the pitch. And now he has even been happy to play out of position in defence and has played very well indeed. He has replaced Kieran Tierney at left back against Sheffield United and against last night, and both have ended with clean sheets, which we haven’t seen for quite a long time.
As Xhaka said after the game last night, he will play anywhere as long as we win! “If we win the Europa League like this, I don’t care which position I play!” he told Arsenal.com.
“If I have to help the team there, I have to help. I’m the guy who will do everything for the team. Of course, everyone knows it’s not my regular position but with the team-mates, they help me and coach me as well, in front and behind. I’m so happy I helped the team in this position as well. I try my best and in the last two games it was a good performance.
“We had a very good game,” he added. “The game plan that the boss gave us was excellent and we showed a big game today. I think we deserved to go through after the two games.
“The character of the team was excellent. To win here 4-0 is not easy but like I said before, we showed over 90 minutes a great performance.”
So how are fans’ peception of Xhaka nowadays? Do you think that he could even be reinstated as captain now? Or do you still think he should be sold this summer?