Granit Xhaka’s future as Arsenal captain remains uncertain after manager Unai Emery confirmed he would not be involved against Liverpool in the League Cup.
The Switzerland international was substituted off in the weekend’s 2-2 draw to sarcastic applause, after which he ear-cupped the fans, before telling them to ‘f*** off’ and then stormed off down the tunnel.
His actions have drawn vast amounts of criticism from both his own fanbase and former players.
But Emery has refused to make a decision over Xhaka’s captaincy and claimed the former FC Basel man was ‘devastated’ and will not play in Wednesday night’s clash - although he suggested he would not have played regardless.
“At the moment I am not speaking and I don’t want to think about that,” the Spanish manager said. “It is not easy for him and for the team. He is now devastated, sad, we spoke yesterday and Sunday night also and this morning.
“He trained normally with the group but he is devastated and sad about the situation.”
Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright led the calls for Xhaka to apologise, saying he ‘owed’ the fans for a number of lacklustre performances.
Emery backed the mercurial 27-year-old to apologise but said he ‘needs family, friends and supporters to love us’.
The former Paris Saint-Germain boss added: “Yes (he should apologise) we we make mistakes, we need to apologise and we suggested for him to do that.
“Now we are looking, seeing he is devastated and the first thing is to recover him. We need our family, friends and supporters to support us, love us.
“He is not feeling that with the supporters. But we are speaking with him ‘first, be calm. Be close to your family and be close to us because we are your family’.
“His commitment with the club is great every time, he wants to help. His behaviour was perfect in training with the group and with the club.
“Really, he knows he was wrong and he feels inside very deep. But it is normal, like a human, every player needs the supporters to support them and the team.”
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