Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has revealed ‘very good talks’ with coach Mikel Arteta convinced him to stay at the Emirates.
The Swiss midfielder looked extremely likely to depart the club in the January transfer window after a turbulent few months.
He found himself out of favour under former coach Unai Emery, who had elected to strip him of the captaincy earlier in the season following an ugly incident with Arsenal fans in a draw with Crystal Palace.
The midfielder’s reaction to fans booing him was widely condemned and looked certain to have brought his Arsenal career to a premature end.
However, he has since bounced back under Arteta’s leadership, and he says the Spaniard ‘convinced’ him to stay.
“After the change of coach I had some very good talks with our new coach Mikel Arteta,” he told SportBild.
“He convinced me of his ideas and his philosophy for the number six position and showed me a lot of appreciation.
“I’m glad that I could pay him back for this trust and I hope for the future that we can still make it into the Champions League and finally play in the international top league again.”
That incident with the Arsenal fans was a low moment for Xhaka and something he has been open about in the past.
He received widespread criticism from the footballing community for his actions, although plenty were willing to support him when he released a statement explaining his side of the story.
It’s something that’s now been consigned to the history books, at least as far as Xhaka is concerned.
“The subject is closed for me. Maybe it was also a misunderstanding, and both sides overreacted a bit.
“The fans can be sure that I always go beyond my limits and give everything for Arsenal.”
While Xhaka’s focus is now on his future at the Emirates, he was seemingly very close to sealing an exit in January.
Hertha Berlin were known to be big admirers, with them splashing the cash in the winter window in an attempt to establish themselves as a Bundesliga force.
Ultimately a move never happened, with the club now embroiled in other issues off the pitch since, something Xhaka isn’t going to comment on.
“Yes, there were talks with Hertha, that’s well known, but for me, it was settled,” he added.
“As far as the events at Hertha in recent months are concerned, I can say nothing about that; I am too far away here for that. That is not for me to say.”