Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

16.08 21 Nov 2019


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Arsenal manager Unai Emery says Swiss international Granit Xhaka could return to their team against Southampton in the Premier League this Saturday.

If he plays it would be the midfielder's first appearance since being stripped of the club captaincy, following an angry exchange with supporters after he was substituted against Crystal Palace last month.

Emery has said in a press conference today that he feels Xhaka is now in the right mind-set to prove to fans how much he wants to be part of the club.

"He is coming back better in his mind, his mindset is better to help us and to be closer to playing when we need him. I spoke to him this morning and we had a very good conversation.

"He trained very well before the international break and he trained very well this morning. My objectives don’t change from when I spoke to you before.

"My objective is going to be his comeback to help us and convince every supporter of his commitment with us and his performances will be better and they will be proud of him in the short or long future with us. That is my objective, and what I am working towards."

The Arsenal boss didn't fully commit to Xhaka returning against the Saints this weekend but added he was doing everything he needed to do to put himself in contention.

"We are going to decide tomorrow but I want to do that comeback, give him confidence and make him comfortable. And when we can connect with our supporters with a good moment and a good performance and being strong with them.

"He trained with us. He was feeling very well in the training session."

Emery also added that his recent conversations with Xhaka have been productive, with the 27-year-old in a good place mentally after a turbulent number of weeks.

"He is feeling better and also feeling that his team is Arsenal now. He wants to come back with confidence with the supporters, and we are going to decide. But I think little by little we can help him come back and connect with us and our supporters."

Arsenal currently sit sixth in the Premier League table after twelve games, with four wins, five draws, and three defeats from their domestic outings so far.


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