Gunners chief says incident in which Swiss international was sent against Burnley was dealt with internally
Mikel Arteta says he is not ready to “throw everything” with Granit Xhaka just because the midfielder was wrong when he was sent against Burnley.
Xhaka saw red during Sunday night’s 1-0 defeat after grabbing Ashley Westwood around the neck during a melee on the field caused by a weak challenge.
Arteta labeled the incident as “unacceptable” immediately after the match and there were suggestions that Xhaka might be let go when the transfer window opens, either in January or in the summer.
But Arteta supported the Swiss international when asked if the 28-year-old still has a future at Arsenal following the last rocky moments during his stay in north London.
“He has and is not the only one, there are a lot of players who have had rocky moments,” the Gunners boss said.
“What I can say about Granit is his professionalism, his commitment to the club and his team is maximum.
“He knows and we all know that he had a moment when he lost it. I know the reason, but what I can’t do is throw away everything he did because he was wrong.
“We all make mistakes and I’m here to protect the players when they see that they deserve it, and certainly Granit is one of them for the way he approaches every workout, the way he wants to do things right all the time and the professional It is. “
Xhaka is Arsenal’s second profile player to be eliminated during the club’s poor form.
Nicolas Pepe also saw red during Leeds’ 0-0 draw after he was seen aiming a header at Ezgjan Alioski during an off-ball incident.
Pepe later publicly apologized for his actions, which Xhaka has not done yet.
Arteta would not have thought if the midfielder at least apologized to his teammates, although he stated that the incident was now treated behind the scenes.
“Anything that happened internally, I’m sorry, but we can’t talk,” he said. “It was resolved internally and that’s all I can say.”