Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has revealed the first thing manager Unai Emery said to him when they first met in the summer.
The Spanish tactician took on the big job of replacing Arsene Wenger at the Emirates Stadium this season, with the Frenchman stepping down after 22 years in charge in north London.
Xhaka on Emery: “I never had contact with him until after the World Cup. When I got back to training, the first thing he told me was, ‘Granit, you’re one of my five captains’. I’m at one of the top ten clubs in the world so that makes you proud & gives you confidence.” #afc pic.twitter.com/IYJxL4m3IW
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) November 19, 2018
It’s fair to say Xhaka is a pretty big fan of the work Emery has done, and he also spoke about how quickly they hit it off, with the former Paris Saint-Germain manager giving him a huge vote of confidence straight away by declaring him as one of his captains.
‘I never had contact with him until after the World Cup,’ Xhaka admitted to Aargauer Zeitung, as translated by @afcstuff.
‘When I got back to training, the first thing he told me was, “Granit, you’re one of my five captains”.
‘I’m at one of the top ten clubs in the world so that makes you proud and gives you confidence.
The Switzerland international has looked a much more accomplished player under Emery this season, having been an unconvincing and inconsistent performer in his first two seasons with Arsenal under Wenger.
Fans will be delighted to see the 26-year-old click so well with the new manager, with his methods clearly paying off as Xhaka now fulfils the potential seen in him at former club Borussia Monchengladbach.