Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta spills the beans on heart-to-heart talks with Granit Xhaka



Posted Friday, January 10, 2020 by Dailystar.co.uk

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has convinced Granit Xhaka he has a future at the club following bust-up with fans during Crystal Palace clash

Mikel Arteta claims heart-to-heart talks with Granit Xhaka convinced the want-away midfielder to make a dramatic U-turn and STAY at Arsenal.

Xhaka looked set to quit this month after being stripped of the captaincy following a bust-up with fans, with Hertha Berlin favourites to sign him.

But Arteta has blocked the move and convinced the Swiss international he still has a future at the Emirates after face-to-face talks.

The Arsenal boss said: “The first message for him was that I wanted to understand how he was feeling, why he was feeling that way.

"I wanted him to hear from me my opinion on him, and that I was ready to support him and that I was ready to push the club to be supportive of him too.

"He could be a really, really good player for us and he could enjoy in this football club playing under me. I tried to convince him that way.

"He thought about it, he had a very positive response afterwards, and I think he changed his mind.”

Xhaka became a hate figure with fans after telling them to “f**k off” as he was substituted against Crystal Palace in October.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta spills the beans on heart-to-heart talks with Granit Xhaka
Mikel Arteta has enjoyed heart-to-heart chats with Granit Xhaka (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

He was later forced to apologise – but only after claiming they had driven him to “boiling point” by abusing him and his family online.

Xhaka then instructed his agent to find him a January move, but with Arsenal preparing to face Palace again tomorrow, he is now back in the fold.

His outburst was the worst of a pattern of behaviour which has set players against fans, with Mesut Ozil also reacting badly to being subbed just last month.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta spills the beans on heart-to-heart talks with Granit Xhaka
Granit Xhaka has bounced back under Mikel Arteta (Image: Getty Images)

Defender Sokratis was the latest to feel their wrath after making a “calm down” gesture during Monday’s narrow FA Cup win over Leeds.

But Arteta said: “It’s very common now. Every club has its own issues. Some things come within the club, some from social media.

"We have to deal with that. It’s not ideal when players respond and it creates an instability. So as much as we can avoid it, the better.”

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta spills the beans on heart-to-heart talks with Granit Xhaka
Granit Xhaka had a bust-up with fans during the clash with Crystal Palace

Arteta also confirmed that Arsenal will only be shopping for loans this month, and could let the likes of Eddie Nketiah, Emile Smith-Rowe and Tyreece John-Jules go out on short-term deals.

And he admitted the Gunners are NOT currently in contract talks with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang despite him insisting he is happy to stay.

Arteta said: “Obviously, he is a massive player for us. But we are in the middle of the season and we haven’t discussed anything further. Am I confident he will sign? I don’t know.

"We haven’t discussed that. But I am confident he is happy here because that’s what he said.”



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