Granit Xhaka on role of Arteta in Arsenal U-turn after 'unacceptable' fan abuse

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Granit Xhaka has explained the role Mikel Arteta played in convincing him to stay at Arsenal.

Xhaka looked set to leave the Gunners in the January transfer window after being dismissed as captain by Unai Emery following an argument with fans during a Premier League clash against Crystal Palace.

After being abused by Arsenal fans in the stands at Emirates Stadium, Xhaka strained his ears to supporters and appeared to swear at them as he rushed through the tunnel after having been replaced.

The Gunners were held 2-2 by Palace that day just over 12 months ago and were in the midst of a series of inconsistent forms which included losses to Sheffield United and Leicester.

Xhaka was later dropped by Emery and only played again after the Spaniard was sacked as Arsenal boss.

And by the time Arteta took the helm in December, it looked like the Swiss midfielder was about to exit, amid speculation about a potential transfer to Hertha Berlin.

However, the new manager put an arm around Xhaka's shoulder and helped convince him to stay – with the midfielder becoming a regular holder again and even captain the side again on occasion.

"I didn't go to training for two days, I was worried about what had happened," Xhaka Neue Zurcher Zeitung said , quoted by the Daily Cannon.

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