Granit Xhaka may soon make his long-awaited return for Arsenal.
The Swiss international has not featured in a game for the Gunners since his infamous bust-up after being substituted during the home fixture against Crystal Palace last month. Doubt has emerged over his future with the club, but Unai Emery is hopeful the Swiss international could be reintegrated with the club sooner rather than later.
In speaking to reporters on Thursday, Emery says Xhaka could very well be back in the team’s plans this weekend for the home fixture against Southampton.
“We are going to decide tomorrow (if he plays) but I want to do that comeback, give him confidence and make him comfortable,” Emery said.
“He is coming back better in his mind, his mindset is better to help us and to be closer to playing when we need him. I spoke to him this morning and we had a very good conversation.”
The 27-year-old midfielder is also hopeful of a return to feature with the club.
“He is feeling better and also feeling that his team is Arsenal now. He wants to come back with confidence with the supporters, and we are going to decide,” Emery said.
Xhaka has missed the Gunners’ last three games and was subsequently stripped of his captaincy after his infamous incident last month. Still, Emery is aiming to bring Xhaka back into the fold and assist in repairing his relationship with the fans.
“My objective is going to be his comeback to help us and convince every supporter of his commitment with us and his performances will be better and they will be proud of him in the short or long future with us. That is my objective, and what I am working towards,” Emery said.
Xhaka is coming into Saturday’s game in strong form after a couple of impressive showings over the international break for Switzerland in Euro 2020 qualifiers.
Arsenal need any help they can get, as the pressure is mounting on Emery to turn things around after an underwhelming start to the season.