Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has revealed that he held private talks with Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka and convinced him to stay at the English Premier League club.
Xhaka was stripped off the captaincy by former manager Unai Emery after being booed by fans when he was substituted during the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace in October. He reacted by abusing the club supporters.
Following the incident, the Switzerland midfielder was expected to leave in the January transfer window. Xhaka was linked with a return to the Bundesliga after his agent confirmed the deal with Hertha Berlin.
Addressing a press conference ahead of the Crystal Palace clash on Saturday, Arteta revealed how he convinced Xhaka to stay at Emirates.
“The first message to him was that I wanted to understand how he was feeling and why he was feeling that way.
“I wanted him to hear from me my opinion on him, and that I was ready to support him and that I was ready to push the club to be supportive of him too, because I thought he could be a really, really good player for us and he could enjoy in this football club playing under me.
“I tried to convince him that way. He thought about it, he had a very positive response afterwards, and I think he changed his mind.” Arteta said.