GRANT XHAKA has revealed how Mikel Arteta saved his Arsenal career despite having his bags packed.
Back in 2019, just months after being booed by his own fans, who he then told to f**k off, the 30-year-old was ready to leave.
Xhaka had was on the verge of signing for Hertha Berlin and returning to the Bundesliga.
But Arteta, who had literally just arrived at the club, asked him for six months.
Speaking about how Arteta convinced him to stay, he said: “In our first conversation I told him that I was going.
“He just said: Stay, I will make sure that you deliver top performances.
“Please give me six months. He told me his ideas and his philosophy.
“I just knew it would work out with him. For the first time in my life I made a decision all by myself.”
Xhaka almost left again in the summer of 2021 when Roma wanted him, but he’s since become a key player to help the Gunners emerge as title contenders.
And he’s praised the Spanish manager to helping him come to terms with the meaning of the game.
He added: “I had to be 27 to really understand football, that’s his credit.
“Mikel showed me football in a new way.
“He explains the game, the tactics, the opponent in such a way that all you can do is go out and win. He’s a crazy guy.”
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