Granit Xhaka Opens Up About Controversial Outburst That Saw Him Stripped of the Arsenal Captaincy

Granit Xhaka
Arsenal FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League | Visionhaus/Getty Images

Granit Xhaka has opened about the controversial outburst that saw him stripped of the Arsenal captaincy back in October.

The Swiss international had long been a subject of derision from the Gunners supporters and the midfielder hit back when fans started to boo him in a meeting with Crystal Palace earlier this season. Xhaka cupped his ears to the jeering crowd and stormed off down the tunnel.

Granit Xhaka
Arsenal FC v West Ham United - Premier League | Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

In an interview with BILD (via the Mirror), he insisted that both he and the supporters overreacted to the situation and admitted he was keen to put the incident behind him.

"The subject is closed for me," he said. "Maybe it was also a misunderstanding, and both sides overreacted a bit.

"The fans can be sure that I always go beyond my limits and give everything for Arsenal."

Soon after his tantrum, Unai Emery named Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the club's captain and the 27-year-old's days at the Emirates Stadium seemed numbered with Hertha Berlin touted as a possible destination in January.

No move ever materialized and incredibly Xhaka has found a new lease of life under Emery's replacement Mikel Arteta.

Arteta fought to keep the player at the club during the last transfer window and he also lavished the former Borussia Monchengladbach man with praise in a more recent interview.

"The way we want to play, if we get him on board he can be a tremendous player for the football club," Arteta said (via the Mirror).

"It is everything – his commitment, I like the way he is, the way he lives, his professionalism, and the way he trains. How focused he is every time I am talking, he is listening and willing to learn and he is a great football player.

"The way we want to play, there are not as many with his quality on the ball and the way he eliminates passes, and the range of his pass. I am delighted to have him."