Arsene Wenger delivers verdict on Granit Xhaka’s situation at Arsenal
Arsene Wenger has his say on the Granit Xhaka fallout at Arsenal
Arsene Wenger says Granit Xhaka is an intelligent player despite the Arsenal midfielder recent fallout with the Gunners supporters at The Emirates.
Xhaka has been something of a scapegoat for Arsenal’s inconsistent performances in the Premier League so far this season.
The building pressure reached a crescendo in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace at The Emirates last month.
Xhaka was substituted midway through the second half of the Premier League clash, prompting cheers from the Arsenal supporters.
The Switzerland international reacted with a series of negative gestures as Xhaka took his time leaving the pitch.
Unai Emery has since stripped Xhaka of the club captaincy, handing the captain’s armband to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Xhaka hasn’t featured for the Arsenal team since the incident amid continued speculation surrounding his future.
Speaking to beIN Sports about Xhaka’s reaction, Wenger said:
“You can always [react] but it doesn’t mean in any club… it’s not the motorway. You have people with passion, with the pressure they are under, with the disappointment they carry out, they have sometimes reactions you don’t want.
“But you have to remind people of the behaviour you want.
“I think Xhaka is an intelligent player, contrary to what I heard in recent weeks. Finally he apologised and that’s what he [Emery] wanted from him.”
Wenger signed Xhaka in a £33m deal from Borussia Monchengladbach in the 2015 summer transfer window.
The Swiss midfielder scored seven times in 94 games under Wenger before the Frenchman’s exit in 2018.
Quizzed about whether he felt Xhaka was a good fit for Arsenal captain, Wenger replied:
“He was captain at [Borussia] Monchengladbach. I don’t think he was captain with me, it depends maybe in Europa League games or League Cup games, I don’t know.”
Arsenal are in fifth place in the Premier League table and six points behind the top four following a run of two victories in their last six games.
The Gunners will take on Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.