Arteta hopes Arsenal fans will show Xhaka love on return to Emirates

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta thinks Granit Xhaka deserves a huge reception from supporters when they are allowed back in stadiums in the future.

The Swiss midfielder angered fans when he launch a foul-mouthed tirade against them while he was substituted during the Gunners' 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace in October.

It looked at one point as though there would be no way back for the player, with previous manager Unai Emery freezing him out of the side initially.

But the player has flourished under Arteta, and is now a regular starter in the team.

Speaking ahead of Arsenal's final game of the season against Watford, Arteta praised Xhaka for the way he has bounced back from the Palace match.

"For a football player when you are on the pitch and you feel you have the fans supporting and you feel their love, it gives you an immense amount of energy and drive," the Spaniard said.

"Hopefully, he can enjoy that when the fans are back in our stadium. People know better than me what happened and how much it affected all sides when that issue occurred. When I arrived here I had a very high opinion of him and knew him really well.

Arteta admitted that Xhaka had doubts over whether he would be able to resurrect his career at the Emirates, but insists he is now happy again.

"I had to convince him he had a future, he had a place here and he could enjoy his career and his family could be happy here," Arteta continued.

"He is a player that when he commits he goes 100 per cent. He has worked really hard and he has won everybody’s trust again.

"I think he’s started to enjoy it again and, normally, when you have those two aspects together – that’s when players perform at the highest level."

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