Granit Xhaka reveals how Mikel Arteta turned his Arsenal career around

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka
Xhaka has been reborn under Arteta (Picture: Getty Images)

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka admits boss Mikel Arteta convinced him to stay at the club and he is now ‘very happy’ to be back in the team.

The Swiss international was stripped of the captaincy after an altercation with the Arsenal fans during their 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace in October.

Xhaka’s agent Jose Noguera revealed that his client had agreed a deal with Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin for a January transfer, but the move failed to materialise.

Having been frozen out by Unai Emery, Xhaka was initially reintegrated by interim boss Freddie Ljungberg before Arteta made a point of highlighting his importance.

The 27-year-old told ‘I have to smile a little bit because I am very, very happy to be back and to enjoy what I love the most: playing for this club and playing football.

‘I had a very, very good meeting with him [Arteta] three days after he came into this club. He told me a lot of things and I was very open with him and he was very open with me.

‘And now we are here, we are both very happy to bring this club to where they have to be.’

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta
Arteta is keen on instilling an identity into the club (Picture: Getty Images)

Arteta has impressed in his first 10 games in charge of his former side, winning four and keeping five clean sheets.

Gunners players have been united in their praise of the 37-year-old head coach, with defender David Luiz saying he has brought the fun back to playing for Arsenal

Xhaka echoes the Brazilian defender’s commendation, he added: ‘It’s always good when the coach can protect you and he speaks openly with me and the players.

‘Each training we learn a lot from him. He speaks a lot to me where to stay where to be and I want to give back every match every training.

‘He knows exactly how he wants to play and the mentality of him is exactly what I want as well.

‘He wants discipline, he wants character and he wants spirit.’

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