Unai Emery says he’ll decide tomorrow whether Granit Xhaka will be part of the squad that faces Southampton on Saturday.
The Switzerland international hasn’t featured for the Gunners since his falling out with the Emirates crowd at the end of October and has been stripped of the captaincy.
“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,” Emery said on Thursday.
“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.”
Arsenal play a lot of football between now and the January transfer window opening, so it makes sense that Emery wants a player once deemed the first name on the team sheet to be available for selection.
With Dani Ceballos out for three weeks, we’re one more injury away from being quite short of cover in the centre of the park.
Xhaka’s latest comments suggest he is not best pleased with the way the club have treated in recent weeks and could well be leaning towards an exit. Emery insists that is not the case.
“He is feeling better and also feeling that his team is Arsenal now,” he said.
“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.
He added: “We are going to decide tomorrow [if he’s in the squad] 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.”