Unai Emery has confirmed that Granit Xhaka will not be in the squad for tomorrow’s game with Wolves even though the Swiss has taken the first step to rehabilitating his relationship with the Arsenal fans by apologising, albeit a few days later than expected.
While the midfielder won’t play any part tomorrow – probably a sensible decision given how the last week has played out – the boss is hopeful that everybody draws a line under the situation.
That said, it remains to be seen whether Xhaka keeps the captain’s armband. That remains a known unknown.
“We were waiting for his statement on Monday ahead of the last press conference here on Tuesday,” Emery revealed at his pre-Wolves press conference.
“The next step is tomorrow’s match. The focus is tomorrow’s match. It’s not in my mind that he will play tomorrow. It’s not in my mind that he will play tomorrow.”
“I think that now, we need to be focused on the match at 100 per cent. Now we are going to train but at the moment, he’s not in my mind.”
Asked about the player’s wellbeing, he went on: “He is training normally with the team, he didn’t play at Liverpool and he is continuing and above all has remained focused on tomorrow.”
It’s hard to tell at this moment whether the fans will embrace Xhaka when he does return, but the boss is hopeful.
“OK I want to finish with that,” said Emery, “he said sorry, he gave the apologies to the supporters, to everybody. Now the focus is on tomorrow’s match.”