Granit Xhaka has issued an apology to Arsenal supporters and vowed to “give 100% to the club he loves” following his X-rated tirade at them that accompanied his substitution against Crystal Palace last weekend.
The 27-year-old waved his arms, cupped his ears and told supporters to “f**k off” as they jeered him following his substitution during Sunday’s 2-2 draw at home to Crystal Palace.
Xhaka also batted away head coach Unai Emery’s attempted handshake and removed his Arsenal shirt before storming down the tunnel.
He has held three meetings with Emery since, with Arsenal wisely deciding to put the player’s welfare and well-being ahead of any quick decision over whether he remains as skipper or not. It was reported earlier this week they had offered the Swiss-Albanian counselling after becoming concerned about his welfare.
And with his actions causing a number of pundits to have their say – one of which, Darren Bent calls for strong sanction against Granit Xhaka – the player has, five days after the events at Emirates Stadium issued an apology for his behaviour.
In a statement, Xhaka wrote: “After taking some time to reflect on what happened on Sunday afternoon, I would like to give you an explanation rather than just a quick response.
“The scenes that took place around my substitution have moved me deeply. I love this club and always give 100% on and off the pitch.
“My feeling of not being understood by fans, and repeated abusive comments at matches and in social media over the last weeks and months have me deeply.
“People have said things like “We will break your legs”, “Kill your wife” and “Wish that your daughter gets cancer”.
“That has stirred me up and I reached boiling point when I felt the rejection in the stadium on Sunday.
“In this situation, I let myself be carried away and reacted in a way that disrespected the group of fans that support our club, our team and myself with positive energy.
“That has not been my intention and I’m sorry if that’s what people thought.
“My wish is that we get back to a place of mutual respect, remembering why we fell in love with this game in the first place.
“Let’s move forward positively together. Granit.”
Arsenal are back in action against Wolves on Sunday and it remains to be seen if Xhaka will be involved.