Arsenal head coach Unai Emery says Granit Xhaka could return against Southampton on Saturday for his first appearance since being stripped of the club captaincy.

Xhaka has not featured since being involved in an altercation with the club’s supporters when he was substituted in a home draw against Crystal Palace last month. The Switzerland midfielder was then stripped of the captaincy by Emery, after which the Arsenal boss suggested Xhaka may never play for the club again.

Xhaka put his troubles at Arsenal behind him as he scored for Switzerland during their 6-1 win over

Emery later came to inform the fans that khaka is ready to play against his perception before now.


“He’s feeling better and also he’s feeling his team is Arsenal now and he wants to regain the confidence of our supporters,” Emery said ahead of Southampton’s visit to the Emirates.

“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.”

Arsenal’s run of four Premier League games without a win has seen them drop eight points behind fourth-placed Manchester City, with Emery himself facing severe criticism from a significant section of the club’s fan-base.

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