Xhaka says Arteta convinced him to stay at Arsenal after boos in 2019
‘Without him, I would not be in the club anymore’: Granit Xhaka reveals Mikel Arteta convinced him to stay at Arsenal after being booed off by supporters in 2019 – as the midfielder claims the Premier League title would complete his turnaround
- Granit Xhaka’s Arsenal career seemed over in 2019 when swore at supporters
- The Swiss midfielder revealed Mikel Arteta was vital to him remaining at the club
- Xhaka has started all of Arsenal’s Premier League matches during the campaign
Granit Xhaka has revealed Mikel Arteta convinced him to stay at Arsenal with the midfielder admitting he was ‘gone’ after being booed off the pitch by fans in 2019.
The Swiss midfielder’s career at the Emirates reached its lowest point during a match against Crystal Palace.
Xhaka was booed off by supporters when he was substituted by then Arsenal manager Unai Emery, and responded by swearing at fans and walking down the tunnel.
His career in North London had appeared to be over following the incident, which led to Xhaka being stripped of the club captaincy.
Xhaka told Bein Sports that Arteta was the key person responsible in convincing him to stay.
Granit Xhaka has revealed Mikel Arteta was vital in convincing him to remain at the club
Xhaka’s time at Arsenal hit a low in 2019 when swore at supporters when he was booed off
‘There was one guy, his name is Mikel Arteta,’ Xhaka said. ‘I will always support him, it doesn’t matter what happens.
‘Without him, I am 100 per cent sure I would not be in the club anymore.
‘He knows that, I have a very good and honest relationship with him. It doesn’t matter what happens on the pitch, I will never ever be against him or say something against him.
‘He deserves my respect, but the respect from my family as well. I was gone. I did not want to wear the shirt anymore. He gave me the feeling to do it again.
‘I am very proud of myself to wear the shirt again with a lot of respect and love, hopefully we can end this with a trophy.’
Xhaka said people were unaware of how low he had been, after he and his family received abuse following the incident.
The midfielder added that he ‘didn’t have a lot of support from many people’.
He had also heavily been linked with a move to Roma in 2021, which reportedly collapsed when the club’s failed to agree a fee.
Xhaka has been a vital part of Arteta’s title chasing side this season, with the Gunners having headed into the weekend’s Premier League matches with a five-point lead over champions Manchester City.
The 30-year-old has started all of Arsenal’s 25 Premier League matches, forming a vital partnership with Thomas Partey in the centre of midfield.
He has also been part of Arsenal’s leadership group and captained the side again in their FA Cup fourth round tie against City last month.
Xhaka has now played 283 games for the club since joining Arsenal in 2016 from Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Xhaka has started every Premier League match this season as Arsenal chase the title
Xhaka believes winning the Premier League title at Arsenal would be the pinnacle of his career having come through the challenging period.
‘This would be the biggest achievement even though I have won trophies before,’ Xhaka said. ‘This would be the biggest achievement in my career because of the turnaround.
‘This is the past, but you never forget this type of period.
‘Hopefully I can end this with something very good at the end of the season.’
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