After the frankly needless drama of the last few weeks concerning Granit Xhaka, under-fire Arsenal boss Unai Emery has said that he’s unsure if the Swisser will play for Arsenal again.
Xhaka stormed off the pitch during the latter stages of yet another disappointing draw, this time with Crystal Palace, as we were chasing a late winner. Some sections of the crowd were apparently urging Xhaka to get a shift on (or put a shift in?) and there was ear-cupping, swearing and general stropping off, something not very becoming of an Arsenal captain it has to be said.
He was then subsequently stripped of the captaincy, which was handed to bad-boy Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and now Emery has admitted that he may not play for Arsenal again. The Daily Telegraph saying that the club will listen to offers in January for the player in the final insult to Xhaka.
“As a coach I have a responsibility for the team. We need a player like Xhaka, but also I don’t know if he is going to play again…”
Xhaka is still under contract until 2023, and he cost £34m, so it’s going to cost the club a lot to see the back of Xhaka. My personal thought is that while Xhaka is almost the player we want/need, he’s too much of a liability in the tackle and while his behaviour wasn’t great, I’m not sure it warranted losing the captaincy and being sold.
Anyway, I’m sure there’s more to come on this story, but the upshot is he won’t play in today’s game against Leicester, and without Dani Cabellos, who was injured on Europa League duty on Thursday we are very short in midfield and need to be careful we don’t end up on the wrong end of a hiding.