Mikel Arteta says he is not ready to “throw everything away”with Granit Xhaka just because the midfielder made a mistake when he got sent off against Burnley.
Arteta labelled the incident as “unacceptable”straight after the game and there have been suggestions that Xhaka could be allowed to leavewhen the transfer window opens, either in January or in the summer.
But Arteta backed the Switzerland international when asked whether the 28-year-old still had a future at Arsenal following the latest in what has been a series of rocky moments during his stay in north London.
“He has and he’s not the only one, there is a lot of players who have had rocky moments,” said the Gunners boss.
“What I can say about Granit is his professionalism, his commitment with the club and his team is maximum.
“He knows, and we all know, that he had a moment where he lost it. I know the reason why, but what I cannot do is throw everything he has done away because he’s made a mistake.
“We all make mistakes and I’m here as well to protect the players when I see that they deserve that and, for sure, Granit is one of them for the way he approaches every training session, the way he wants to do things the right way all the time and the professional that he is.”
Xhaka is the second high-profile Arsenal player to be sent off during the club’s recent poor run of form.
Nicolas Pepe also saw red during the 0-0 draw at Leeds after he was spotted aiming a head butt at Ezgjan Alioski during an off-the-ball incident.
Pepe later apologised publicly for his actions, something Xhaka has yet to do.
Arteta wouldn’t be drawn on whether the midfielder had at least said sorry to his team-mates, although he did state the incident has now been dealt with behind the scenes.
Source : goal.com