Arsenal manager has revealed the details of the heart-to-heart he had with Granit Xhaka which convinced the Swiss midfielder to stay at Emirates. Switzerland international has had a turbulent campaign with Arsenal, stripped of the captaincy after a public fallout with Supporters and his career in Arsenal looked to be over.
A deal to take Granit to Hertha Berlin looked to be agreed, but Mikel arrived to take over as coach in December, and he quickly put a stop to those plans. Arteta has described how he spoke to Xhaka and explained that he sees him as a big part of his club going forward, as well as setting out a plan to heal the wounds of the previous few months.
‘The first message for him was that I wanted to understand how he was feeling, why he was feeling that way,’ said Spaniard.
‘I wanted him to hear from me my opinion on him, and that I was ready to support him and that I was set to push the club to be supportive of him too because I thought he could be a good player for us and he could enjoy playing under me in this football club.’
The level-headed new Gunners boss was keen to downplay the problems Swiss midfielder had gone through earlier this campaign, describing them as commonplace in the modern game. The 27-year-old has started three of Mikel’s four matches in charge of Gunners so far, and the Spaniard wants to put the issues in the past.