Xhaka revived under Arteta

31 July 2020 18:21:53 GMTPlus10

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has admitted he was close to leaving the club before Mikel Arteta installed some happiness in the squad.

Xhaka had a public falling out with the Arsenal fans after he was booed-off the field during the clash with London rivals Crystal Palace.

However, he has fought his way back into the side and played a key role in the Gunners' 2-0 FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City.

Former Arsenal boss Unai Emery stripped the midfielder of the captain's armband and it looked like Xhaka had played his final game for the north London club.

But, Arteta's arrival has allowed the Swiss to reignite his Arsenal career and he seems to be getting the supporters back onside too.

The Gunners face a huge FA Cup final showdown against Chelsea on Saturday and Xhaka will be hoping to continue the good form he has shown under his new boss.

"Everyone knows what happened with me and the fans – or the fans with me," the 27-year-old told BT Sport. "It was not a good time. It was not a nice time.

"But maybe it was the key because I came back stronger than ever so I learned a lot from this situation. I hope the fans have too.

"I have to be honest, I'm very honest with everyone. I was very, very close to leaving the club. I have, until this moment, I had a great, great time in this football club."

He added: "Since Mikel came to this club a lot of things have changed. He's changed the mentality, the spirit, not only for us players but in the group."

Arsenal are 3.75 to win the FA Cup in 90 minutes with Chelsea 2.00 chances, and the draw 3.50.

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