Emery keen to bring Xhaka back for Arsenal as he reveals positive talks with disgruntled midfielder

The Switzerland international could feature for the Gunners against Southampton on Saturday, with the Spaniard aiming to reintegrate him into the team
The Switzerland international could feature for the Gunners against Southampton on Saturday, with the Spaniard aiming to reintegrate him into the team

Unai Emery has suggested that he could welcome Granit Xhaka back into the Arsenal squad for the meeting with Southampton on Saturday after confirming that the pair have held positive talks.

Xhaka hit the headlines after his backlash at Gunners supporters as he exited the pitch after being substituted in the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium.

The Switzerland international has not featured for the north Londoners since, with speculation rife that he may even have played his last game for the club and that they would move him on in January.

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Emery has rejected that notion, however, expressing that he is keen to bring him back into the team and that he is confident the midfielder will win back the affection of the fans.

He told reporters on Thursday: "He is coming back better in his mind, his mindset is better to help us and to be closer to playing when we need him. I spoke to him this morning and we had a very good conversation.

"He trained very well before the international break and he trained very well this morning. My objectives don’t change from when I spoke to you before.

"My objective is going to be his comeback to help us and convince every supporter of his commitment with us and his performances will be better and they will be proud of him in the short or long future with us. That is my objective, and what I am working towards.

"He is feeling better and also feeling that his team is Arsenal now. He wants to come back with confidence with the supporters, and we are going to decide. But I think little by little we can help him come back and connect with us and our supporters.

"We are going to decide tomorrow but I want to do that comeback, give him confidence and make him comfortable. And when we can connect with our supporters with a good moment and a good performance and being strong with them. He trained with us. He was feeling very well in the training session."

Xhaka played in both games for Switzerland over the international break, scoring in the 6-1 demolition of Gibraltar, and has previously expressed his determination to win back his place with the Gunners.

His outburst that saw him tell Gunners fans to "f*ck off" as he left the pitch against Palace saw him replaced by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as captain, and it remains to be seen how heavily he will be involved with the first-team until the end of the season.

Speaking to SRF, Xhaka added on the matter: "I have a clear idea as to how things should proceed, and Arsenal know this as well.

"Although I still have a contract with them, I will be glad to return to the club so we can finally sort matters out. There will surely be a solution, as I can’t accept what has happened with me."

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