Arsenal manager Unai Emery insists he doesn't know if Granit Xhaka will ever play for the club again after the Switzerland international's public fallout with fans last month.
The 27-year-old was visibly frustrated by jeers and whistles when he was substituted in their home match against Crystal Palace, even cupping his ear towards the home crowd and mouthing 'f*** off' towards a section of the fans.
Xhaka hasn't featured for Arsenal since and has even had his captaincy stripped, with Emery now admitting that the former Borussia Mönchengladbach star may not play for the club again.
"We need a player like Granit Xhaka. But also, I don't know if he's going to play again," Emery said in his pre-match press conference ahead of the clash with Leicester, quoted by The Daily Mail. "I don't know, because if he is available in his mind to continue helping us and continuing defending the Arsenal shirt, I think time is giving us that solution."
The Switzerland international is apparently already being offered to clubs back in Germany ahead of the winter transfer window, while Steve Bruce's Newcastle United have surprisingly also been linked with a move for Xhaka.
The 27-year-old's problems have been the latest in a long line for manager Emery this season, who has already had to work through Mesut Özil and Sead Kolašinac being the victims of an attempted robbery earlier in the year.
"I'm not really disappointed with our work [this season]," Emery added. "I am being realistic because some circumstances did not help us to achieve best emotional balance because with that, best performance, best emotional balance.
"For the supporters, they have seen that their team needs more to improve to achieve the best results.
"I want to say to them, they must have patience and in some circumstances, they did not help us but we are trying to achieve the best emotional balance with the players.
"Özil circumstances, Kolašinac, Laurent Koscielny circumstance and, remember also, that if he was here that the captain would be Laurent Koscielny and that would give us no problem."
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