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Feared for my future at Arsenal after being stripped of captaincy, confesses Granit Xhaka

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Feared for my future at Arsenal after being stripped of captaincy, confesses Granit Xhaka

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SportsCafe Desk

02/25/2020

Former Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka has revealed that he feared for his future in North London after he was stripped of the captaincy and booed of the field by home fans. The Swiss star has done well under new boss Mikel Arteta but had come under heavy criticism under former boss Unai Emery.

Things since then have changed for Xhaka with him now a crucial cog in Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal and the midfielder has started every game under the new boss. But under former boss Unai Emery, Xhaka struggled to make an impact and was often singled out for criticism. Everything came crashing down when the midfielder was booed off the field against Crystal Palace earlier in the season and it saw him react badly before being dropped from the team.

To make things even worse, Emery stripped the Swiss international of the captaincy but things have changed for the midfielder with him now a key part of Arteta’s set-up. In an interview recently, Xhaka went on to admit that he feared for his future at Arsenal after the incident and that it wasn’t easy for his family or him. He also added that he was never going to leave unless forced out and will give his all for the club going forward.

“Of course, I don’t lie. There was a moment, because it was not easy for me and my family. I hope people understand this. But I think I showed my character. I am not a guy who runs away. I always say to the club, ‘When I [am] here, I am ready to give everything’. It was like this always. I train very hard and that things turned around is the key. This [has given me] the most happiness,” Xhaka told the Evening Standard.

Since the incident, striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has taken over the captaincy alongside Mesut Ozil, Hector Bellerin and Alexandre Lacazette. But the former Borussia Dortmund striker is the club captain and Xhaka disclosed that he would be reluctant to take it up again in the near future. He also added that despite both Sokratis and David Luiz urging him to take it, it may not happen.

“I know with or without the armband what I can give the team. But in this moment [against Palace] I don’t want to take the armband back, but Sokratis [Papastathopoulos] and David [Luiz] told me I have to take it. If one day the club asks me about the armband, I have to think twice.I had not so good a time when I was in Germany (with Borussia Monchengladbach) for the first six months because I didn’t play, but this one was something else."

"This one was not about a player, this was more about a human. But I want to think about the future. I know we can have a big future with Mikel, with this club and that is why I am very happy,” he added.

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