Mikel Arteta Addresses Granit Xhaka's Future & Whether Arsenal Players Back Him

Ross Jackson
Mikel Arteta has stood by Granit Xhaka
Mikel Arteta has stood by Granit Xhaka / Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has said under-fire midfielder Granit Xhaka still has a future at the club, and claims he still has the support of his players despite the club's worrying dip in form.

The Gunners midfielder has yet again found himself on the receiving end of criticism from swathes of the club's fan base following his sending off in the Gunners' home defeat to Burnley on Sunday.

Xhaka was sent off in the defeat to Burnley
Xhaka was sent off in the defeat to Burnley / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Despite reports suggesting the club are willing to listen to offers for the 28-year-old, Arteta has moved to insist Xhaka has his full support and that he will not 'throw everything that he has done away just because he made a mistake'.

"He has [had a few rocky moments] and he's not the only one," he told reporters (via the club'sofficial website). "There's a lot of players who have had rocky moments.

"What I can say about Granit is that his professionalism and his commitment with the club and with his teammates is maximum. He knows and we know that he had a moment where he lost it and I know the reason why, but what I cannot do is just throw everything that he has done away just because he made a mistake."

Despite jumping to the defence of the former Arsenal captain, Arteta refused to disclose information regarding whether he had discussed Xhaka's lack of discipline in the wake of his sending off, adding: "Whatever happens internally, I'm sorry but we cannot discuss. It's been resolved internally and this is what I can say."

The Arsenal boss has himself incurred the wrath of frustrated Gunners fans over recent weeks, with the club slipping down to 15th place in the Premier League following a run of five league games without a win.

Recent reports suggest Arteta may not have the full support of his struggling side, though he was quick to add that it is 'impossible' to keep a squad of players as big as Arsenal's happy all of the time.

"Well I said it many times when you have the squad that we have at the moment, for different circumstances it's impossible to have 31 happy players in the camp. It's absolutely impossible," he said.

"I don't know any club in the world who has that. But obviously when you lose again these things are going to come out again to put more pressure or be disruptive. I'm not interested in any of that."

Pressure has increased on the Arsenal boss since the defeat to Burnley
Pressure has increased on the Arsenal boss since the defeat to Burnley / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Reporters continued to push Arteta on whether he felt there was a rift within his squad, though the Spaniard remained cool when asked if he believed he had the full support of his players.

"My feeling is yes but this is a question for them obviously. Again, when I see the reaction and the way they try there's not one bit that worries me that they're not trying their best, that's for sure."

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