Arsenal boss Unai Emery has revealed that Granit Xhaka could return against Southampton after a month out of the team.
Xhaka has not featured for Arsenal since clashing with fans following his substitution against Crystal Palace last month, which resulted in him issuing an apology.
Speaking to Bleacher Report, Emery said:
“He’s feeling better and also he’s feeling his team is Arsenal now and he wants to regain the confidence of our supporters”.
“Little by little, we can help him to come back and connect again with us and our supporters”.
“We are going to decide tomorrow [if he’ll play] but I want to do that comeback giving him confidence, making him comfortable, and [at a time] when we can connect with our supporters in a good moment, a good performance and also being strong with them”.
Whilst Xhaka has been out of the team for a number of weeks, the midfielder is still an experienced Premier League player. He is a consistent performer, despite being scapegoated by Arsenal fans for their underperforming team in recent seasons.
The Swiss international is strong in the tackle and good at avoiding the high press with short passes to break lines and retain possession. If he does start in midfield, Southampton will have to pressure him early and try to cause unrest amongst the away fans in order to provoke to rattle Xhaka and disrupt his performance, if they want to go home with the three points.