ranit Xhaka says it’s “absolutely amazing” to hear Arsenal fans chanting his name and is looking forward to showing them the player he’s always wanted to be.
Xhaka is having a brilliant season with Arsenal and continued on Saturday by scoring in the Gunners’ 3-1 win over north London rivals Tottenham. The midfielder has thrived in a more advanced role and his form has strengthened his bond with the supporters.
Xhaka infamously fell out with Arsenal fans in October 2019 which led to him being dismissed as captain, but he has now rebuilt that connection.
“I had a lot more good times than bad at Arsenal,” Xhaka said. “The only real tough times I had were the stuff with the fans three years ago, but everything else for me was very positive, very happy, and there was a lot of respect between everyone.
“It was funny because I was joking with Alex Zinchenko during the warm-up [before the Bournemouth game in August]. They were singing his name after just three weeks at Arsenal. I said to him, ‘Alex, I’ve been here six years and I don’t have a song and you just arrived and you have it!’
“So I was joking with him on the pitch before, then at the end of the game I heard our supporters chanting my name. Maybe they heard me arguing with Alex!
“But seriously, it was an absolutely incredible, incredible feeling for me, because everyone knows what I went through with the fans. It’s in the past now.
“To turn the situation around and be able to show them the Granite that I always wanted to show them, to feel connected and to feel their love has given me much, much, much more confidence in myself, and also more desire to give them something. thing back.
“So hopefully we can stay with that connection now, not just with me, but with all the players, because it’s very important for us to feel the love from the fans.
“I was a little surprised when I heard it, I didn’t know what to do, but I want to say how much it meant to me and how much I appreciate it.”