Xhaka was stripped of the captaincy last season, with the Mirror reporting that the midfielder told the fans to “[expletive] off” in a shocking outburst as he was substituted in the draw against Crystal Palace.
The Switzerland international’s completely took over the football world, with scenes like this hardly even seen before in the Premier League.
Unai Emery was in charge at the time, with Xhaka admitting that his ‘heart’ was ‘gone’ from the club after this incident, but the midfielder has since battled back under Mikel Arteta.
Xhaka actually states that Arteta is the reason that he’s still at Arsenal, expressing ‘thanks’ to the boss.
Here’s what Xhaka had to say on the ordeal and his resurgence:
“I was completely surprised by this. I am a person, I have emotions, things hurt me too, the disparaging gesture in the direction of the fans that I made back then might not be done today.”
“I didn’t go to training for two days, wondering what happened in the first place. My heart was already gone from the club. The fact that I’m still there today is thanks to coach Mikel Arteta.”
“He first wanted me to explain how I feel and why I had acted this way… I was able to describe my motives to him and let out what was on my mind.”
Not only has Xhaka become a key player for the Gunners once again after that spell on the sidelines, the ace has actually captained Arsenal on three occasions this season.
Xhaka has wore the armband in the absence of now club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
It will be interesting to see whether the 28-year-old maintains his place as a key figure or if Arteta prefers someone else to partner Thomas Partey.