Granit Xhaka reveals that he feels closer to Arsenal fans

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Granit Xhaka has revealed that he now feels much closer to Arsenal’s fan base than he did two years ago when he was stripped of his club captaincy.

The Swiss national team player returned to Mikel Arteta’s starting eleven in early December after missing almost three months of action with a knee injury.

That’s positive for the Gunners at the moment. They are up in fourth place in the Premier League, after winning four games in a row and scoring nine points in their last two league games.

But when the mood was a bit darker at the Emirates 2019, Xhaka aroused criticism for some sarcastic gestures in response to the home crowd booed him during a draw against Crystal Palace. He was replaced as Arsenal captain by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, although that situation still needs to be clarified after the Gabonese international’s absence from the squad.

In a speech to The Athletic, Xhaka said: “I will make mistakes because everyone does. We are not perfect. But I will give 100 percent on every training session and every match. This is my message to the fans.

“Sometimes there are misunderstandings and I think this was the only reason for the problem we had between us. I feel much more love than a year or two ago but it is a slow process that we are dealing with each other.”

Speaking specifically about the Palace incident, he added: “This is definitely a part of my life. I had a hard time before, but not in this way.

“In the end, I took it very positively and if one day in the future I talk about it with my children, I know I will be able to smile because it was the key to making me a stronger person and also stronger connected to the football club.”

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