It was barely two weeks ago when Granit Xhaka’s agent – clearly with the blessing of the player – went public with the news that the midfielder wanted to leave Arsenal and join Hertha Berlin.
It came not long after Mikel Arteta had been appointed as Arsenal manager, and it felt very much like the Swiss international’s future lay elsewhere.
However, it now seems that a detente has been reached and that the 27 year old will stay, at least until the end of the season – giving us time to source a summer replacement.
Xhaka’s relationship with the fans, and the club under Unai Emery’s watch, has been strained to say the least, but with midfield options fairly limited, Arteta sought to try and calm the waters.
“The first message for him was that I wanted to understand how he was feeling, why he was feeling that way,” he said.
“I wanted him to hear from me my opinion on him, and that I was ready to support him and that I was ready to push the club to be supportive of him too, because I thought he could be a really, really good player for us and he could enjoy playing under me in this football club.
“I tried to convince him that way. He thought about it, he had a very positive response afterwards, and I think he changed his mind.”
It also sounds as if Arteta will be laying down some ground rules for his players when it comes to interactions with fans online and off so as to avoid a similar situation.
“Every club has its own issues,” he said. “Some things come within the club, some within the media, some from social media.
“It’s very difficult nowadays to have one full year where everything is perfect. It’s the environment, we have to deal with that and hopefully in a few months nobody remembers those issues.
“Of course it’s not ideal when players respond and it creates an instability. So as much as we can avoid it, the better.”