Mark Noble has had his say on Granit Xhaka’s clash with Arsenal fans and believes he should now consider leaving the Emirates.
The 27-year-old reacted angrily as he was jeered by Gunners fans as he was making his way off the pitch when substituted against Crystal Palace last weekend.
He also proceeded to take his shirt off and storm down the tunnel, while a statement was released earlier this week as he issued an apology of sort for his actions but hit out at the abuse that he has received from some fans.
Unai Emery confirmed in his pre-match press conference on Friday that he won’t call the Swiss international up for the squad to face Wolves this weekend, and so it remains to be seen when Xhaka returns to the fold and whether or not he is accepted back by the fans after their clash.
Noble has given his opinion on the matter and ultimately believes that it’s going to be a tough road back now for Xhaka and perhaps the sensible thing for all concerned to do is to split ways and avoid further tension and clashes in the future.
“Granit has taken a lot of flak for his reaction after being substituted last weekend but — as a fellow captain of a London Premier League club — I did have some sympathy for him,” he wrote in his Evening Standard column.
“Granit is one of those players who wears his heart on his sleeve and it’s tough for him at the moment.
“In all honesty, the best solution might be to tell his agent, ‘Look, they don’t like me here, so maybe it’s best if I go and play somewhere else’.
“If I was him I would say, “I’ve had a great time here, but it’s not worked out recently and it’s time for a new challenge”.
“I remember Slaven Bilic telling me, “Once the box is open, it never closes”. The chances are that, if he makes one bad pass in the next match in which he plays, they’ll be on him again.”
Time will tell what Xhaka decides to do, but it’s difficult to disagree with Noble on this one as ultimately it’s easy to see the criticism come back in the next game he features in if he doesn’t perform at a high level.
With that in mind, it might be the best solution if he looks for a new challenge elsewhere, but he may well be determined to silence the trolls and detractors and show his character to emerge as a key figure for Arsenal and Emery moving forward.
Having been chosen by his fellow teammates to be club captain, Xhaka will seemingly have the support of the squad to fall on, but it remains to be seen if he can mend his relationship with certain fans.