Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has explained how he had to help Granit Xhaka to turn his career around at the Emirates Stadium.
The Switzerland international has had a difficult time in his spell with the Gunners, with his form never quite good enough to win over a large section of the fans.
Things came to a head earlier this season when Xhaka was subbed off against Crystal Palace to cheers from the home fans, prompting Xhaka to angrily react to the Emirates crowd, putting his career with the north Londoners in real doubt.
Still, Xhaka’s form has improved a great deal since Arteta replaced Unai Emery as manager, and the Spanish tactician has admitted he had work to do to persuade the 27-year-old that he still had a future with the club.
As quoted by the Daily Mirror, Arteta says he’s long been a fan of Xhaka, and he feels that giving him that confidence has helped him show his best form again.
“When I arrived here I had a very high opinion of him and knew him really well,” Arteta said.
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“I had to convince him he had a future, he had a place here and he could enjoy his career and his family could be happy here.
“He is a player that when he commits he goes 100 per cent. He has worked really hard and he has won everybody’s trust again.
“I think he’s started to enjoy it again and, normally, when you have those two aspects together – that’s when players perform at the highest level.”